CN and CP rails taking precautions against flood waters in SK

April 29, 2013 - 6:34pm
A VIA Rail passenger train slipped off the tracks near Togo, Sask. Photo courtesy of Kamsack RCMP.
A VIA Rail passenger train slipped off the tracks near Togo, Sask. Photo courtesy of Kamsack RCMP.

Canadian Pacific Rail and Canadian National Railway have been watching Saskatchewan, preparing to defends its infrastructure against flood waters as snow melts.

"For CP, we've stepped up monitoring on our lines through Saskatchewan," said Ed Greenberg.  Part of that monitoring is doing track inspections more often than usual.

"We're paying close attention to our track network.  This includes the track itself, the bridges, the culverts, any signal equipment that could be impacted."

Greenberg says contingency plans were made several weeks ago to ensure CP can respond to any emergency.

"We stockpile materials, we make sure we have our equipment and resources in place in the event that there is a situation with flood waters."

CP operations has a team monitoring the situation, looking at the forecasts in hopes that they can best respond to the changing weather.

CN Railways have also been taking precautions ahead of the big melt.

"Preparations include cleaning any debris that exists along our track that could become mobile during a flood," said Warren Chandler, senior manager with public affairs.

"We have staged sandbags in areas known to flood previously that will be ready for quick deployment."

Chandler says the resources CN has on hand will allow them to respond quickly.  In the case of sandbagging, the sacks would be placed along the rails to try and keep the flood waters at bay. 

Response plans are also in place in case something does happen to the tracks.  They are currently working on fixing washed out tracks near the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border

Both rail companies confirm that this is the only case, so far, of flooding affecting rails in Saskatchewan.


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