CN Rail main line reopened after Western Canada derailment

TORONTO Mon Nov 4, 2013 11:47am EST

TORONTO Nov 4 (Reuters) - Canadian National Railway Ltd reopened a section of its main line in the western province of Alberta late on Sunday after it was blocked by a train derailment earlier in the day, CN said on Monday, adding that the cause of the accident is under investigation.

Rail safety and the transport of hazardous materials are major issues in Canada following the July explosion of a runaway Montreal, Maine and Atlantic train carrying crude oil that killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

CN, Canada's largest railway, said there were no injuries or spills of dangerous goods when the 12 cars carrying lumber and one car carrying sulfur dioxide derailed near the hamlet of Peers, Alberta, about 110 miles (177 km) from the provincial capital of Edmonton at about 1 a.m. local time on Sunday.

The car carrying sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas, was upright, intact and not leaking and there were no environmental concerns or threats to the public, the railway said.

CN had the track cleared and reopened to traffic at 5:15 p.m. local time on Sunday, said Warren Chandler, a senior manager of public and government affairs at CN.

The accident came just two weeks after another CN train carrying crude oil and propane derailed and caught fire in Alberta, but caused no casualties.