MONTREAL - Nearly 4,000 litres of diesel fuel spilled after two CN trains derailed early Sunday in St. Henri, a neighbourhood in Montreal's southwest borough.
At 12:10 a.m., a CN train derailed near the corner of Acorn and de Courcelle, blocks from both Montreal's Atwater Market and the Lachine Canal. The train derailed after failing to stop at a designated area for reasons that are still unknown. The train, used only locally and known as a switcher, had two locomotives at the front and was pulling 25 cars.
Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigator Guy Laporte told QMI Agency that the switcher was heading east on a secondary rail and only came to a stop approximately 400 feet past the designated stop area
The train was involved a minor collision with a westbound train that was en route from Halifax. The train from Halifax had 120 cars attached and Laporte said it was not carrying any hazardous materials.
Five cars (13 through 17) on the Halifax train rubbed up against the switcher, causing the first four units (two locomotives and two cars) on the switcher to derail.
While the trains stayed upright, the switcher's second locomotive sustained a punctured diesel tank, causing the spill.
According to TSB official Roxanne D'Aoust, 1,000 gallons (3785.41 litres) of fuel seeped out of the engine. Emergency workers from Quebec's Ministry of the Environment and CN were on the scene overnight overseeing the cleanup.
Laporte said that the TSB was told by CN that the spill had been cleaned up and that the frozen ground made the recovery operation easier.
The TSB was also assured by CN and the Ministry of the Environment that no fuel leaked into the city sewers.
Via Rail spokesperson Mylene Belanger told QMI Agency that their service will not be disrupted.
- With files from Michel Bellemare and Dave Kaufman, QMI Agency