CN looks to reopen tracks in southern B.C. this weekend

by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

Canadian National Railway Co. says it aims to reopen its network in southern British Columbia this weekend after another bout of rain and wind prompted a second shutdown.

CN said Friday that engineers and construction crews continue to work on the Vancouver-Kamloops corridor, which was first cut by landslides and washouts amid torrential downpours in mid-November.

The country’s largest railroad operator restored limited service along the vital supply link last week before opting to “proactively close” the line again Monday as more rain triggered further mudslides, flooding and debris.

“The company continues to move limited amounts of trains through the region on other available rail infrastructure,” spokesman Jonathan Abecassis said in an email.

The Montreal-based railway has also been able to divert some traffic to the Port of Prince Rupert, which remains fully operational and unaffected by the severe weather.

Meanwhile, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. says service in the region is ongoing, including to the Port of Vancouver.

CP cars loaded with Prairie grain and fuel entered Vancouver last week for the first time in days after its rail corridor sustained heavy damage in some 30 locations between Vancouver and Kamloops, B.C.

However, the Calgary railway has said it needs access to CN tracks on its busiest corridor where they share rail infrastructure in order to maximize capacity.