Western rail lines washed out, cutting off grain movement west

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The west coast, Fraser Valley, and further inland at Merrit, B.C. and just to the south has faced two days of incredible rainfall flooding homes, submerging roads, and cutting deep ravines under highways and bridges.

Images of stranded cattle and horses, flooded roads and neighbourhoods, and completely destroyed roads have dominated the news since Monday, November 15.

As the rains slow and stop, emergency crews are working to rescue those still trapped in vehicles either between mudslides or on washouts, and those evacuated are beginning to assess the full losses, in an area that was hard hit by wild fires this summer.

The Port of Vancouver and the rail lines that link the rest of Canada to it has been impacted by the flooding, but the full extent is not yet known.

Both CN and CP Rail are reporting delays or closed tracks, and at least one derailment in the area. A spokesperson says, “CP is experiencing a track outage north of Hope, B.C., affecting rail service in the region,” but declined any further details on the extent of the damage or when lines may be repaired.

A rep for CN rail says, “Following the heavy rainfalls in British Columbia, there have been mud slides and washouts on CN’s network. Crews are inspecting the affected areas and carrying out repairs which are critical to the passage of railway traffic through southern B.C. The repair work is progressing safely, but northbound and eastbound traffic from Vancouver, as well as inbound to Vancouver from east/north of Kamloops continue to be impacted. CN is in contact with its customers and will continue to update them as the situation develops.”

 

As noted in a daily network status report from the Ag Transport Coalition, load counts of cars not moving will likely increase in the coming days as a result of CN and CP’s track outages immediately east of Vancouver and in southern B.C.

More to come…

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