CP Railway reopens line, cleans up after oil spill

TORONTO Wed May 22, 2013 11:03am EDT

A Canadian Pacific Railway locomotive sits at the Obico Intermodal Terminal in Toronto, May 23, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Cassese

A Canadian Pacific Railway locomotive sits at the Obico Intermodal Terminal in Toronto, May 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Cassese

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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd said on Wednesday it has repaired and reopened a rail line near Jansen, Saskatchewan, and continues to clean up after a derailment that spilled 575 barrels of crude oil on Tuesday.

CP, the country's second-largest rail carrier, said the line reopened late Tuesday night following repairs and inspections. It said an investigation continues into the cause of the accident, the largest of three oil spills for the company in two months.

Five cars containing Western Canadian crude on an eastbound mixed-freight train derailed and one leaked oil, which was contained at the site, CP said.

The accident follows a CP derailment in western Minnesota that spilled 360 barrels of Canadian crude in late March.

Less than a week later, a 400-barrel spill occurred in a derailment in northern Ontario.

A boom in North American oil production has prompted a huge rise in shipment of crude by rail as output has outgrown the existing pipeline network.

The spill may again prompt concerns about the environmental risks of shipping crude on railways and raise questions about CP's safety record as the company pushes hard to cut costs and boost efficiency under new executive leadership.

CP Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison blamed previous accidents on broken wheels and a broken rail and said the railway was investing in technology to prevent "avoidable" problems in the future.

CP shares were 1.5 percent higher at C$142.09 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in early trade on Wednesday.

(Reporting By Susan Taylor; editing by Jim Marshall)

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