Thunder Bay·Updated

Two CP train derailments take place on Ignace, Ont. subdivision in less than a month

For the second time in less than a month, a Canadian Pacific Railway freight train has derailed west of Ignace, Ont.

The first train derailment took place on May 25, and the second on June 17

A train carrying coal derailed in a "swampy area" west of Ignace, Ont. in the afternoon of June 17, according to local mayor Penny Lucas. (David Bell/CBC)

For the second time in less than a month, a Canadian Pacific Railway freight train has derailed west of Ignace, Ont.

Drawing from the initial report provided by CP Railway, Jerry Berriault, the regional senior investigator for rail and pipeline with the Transportation Safety Board, said the train's derailment was caused by a combination of recent repair work to the rail track and severe weather fluctuations.

Seventeen train cars carrying coal derailed around mile 12 of the CP Railway Ignace subdivision around 4:20 p.m. on June 17. Most of the cars were upright, and the derailment took place in a "fairly remote location" with no waterways in the vicinity.

"Restoration and rehabilitation work" was completed on the tracks in the same subdivision after 57 grain cars derailed on May 25.

Following the first derailment, Berriault said, CP Railway had to restore the infrastructure on that line and would have laid a new track, new ballasts and new ties. The new infrastructure had not yet had time to "lock in or settle" before "severe weather fluctuations" caused the track to buckle.

Initial reports indicated that the restoration work was in part responsible for causing the second derailment. However, new information from the Transportation Safety Board suggest that the repairs were not a causal factor of the second derailment.

Berriault credited the fact that the train was only travelling at 19 m.p.h. with minimizing the severity of the incident.

There were two crew members working in the lead locomotive at the time of the derailment, but according to a statement by CP spokesperson Andy Cummings, there were no injuries as a result and no dangerous goods were involved in the incident.

Penny Lucas, the mayor of the Township of Ignace, said she received a call about a half hour after the derailment happened to notify her about the incident. She noted that it took place "about a kilometre or so from where the last derailment took place."

Officials are still investigating the cause of the first derailment.