Canadian Manufacturing

Freight train derails west of Toronto; no injuries, spills

by The Canadian Press   

Canadian Manufacturing
Operations Regulation Infrastructure Transportation

13 CN rail cars carrying paper and soybeans jumped the tracks at the centre of Strathroy, Ont., shutting down train service between Toronto and Sarnia

STRATHROY, Ont.—Via Rail says train service between Toronto and the city of Sarnia, Ont., near the U.S. border, has been cancelled for two days due to a freight train derailment early July 19.

13 cars from a CN freight train derailed in the centre of the community of Strathroy, Ont.,—about 230 kilometres west of Toronto—just before 4:30 a.m., said Joanne Vanderheyden, mayor of Strathroy-Caradoc.

No one was injured in the incident, she said.

The cars that derailed were not carrying any dangerous material when they went off the tracks, said Vanderheyden, who explained that an east-west railway line used by CN and Via Rail effectively divides the town.


“Most of the cars were either empty, or had paper in them, or soybeans,” she said. “So, nothing to be too worried about.”

One of the cars had residual traces of petroleum, Vanderheyden said, but it wasn’t carrying a load of it when the derailment happened.

“That was not a concern, either,” she said.

Via Rail said the derailment had led to the cancellation of daily trains between Sarnia and Toronto on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as an early morning train from Sarnia to London, Ont., on Friday. It said trains would still be operating between Toronto and London, Ont.

The Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team of investigators to the site of the derailment.

“The TSB will gather information and assess the occurrence,” it said in a statement.

Some Strathroy residents said the derailment was the talk of the town on Wednesday.

Stu Solomon, a local business owner, said the crash happened near the community’s downtown core.

“There’s a lot of walking traffic going by to look,” he said. “That’s what most of the commotion is.”

The municipality had closed most of the railroad crossings linking north and south Strathroy shortly after the derailment occurred, but most crossings have since re-opened, Vanderheyden said.


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