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Updated: Fri, 11 Jul 2014 06:49:31 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Via train service still cancelled after CN train derails



The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released this aerial photo of the derailment site. Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released this aerial photo of the derailment site. Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Via Rail train service between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal is expected to remain cancelled until noon today after yesterday's CN freight train derailment in Brockville, Ont.

The derailment happened at about 4:10 a.m. ET Thursday on the tracks near Lyn Road and Highway 401 in Brockville, about 115 kilometres south of Ottawa.

No one was injured.

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Via Rail said morning trains 41, 43, 50, 51, 60 and 61 will be replaced by buses this morning. Via service between Ottawa and Montreal is unaffected by the derailment.

On Friday, CN said crews are still clearing derailed cars and investigating the incident along with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

The derailed cars are expected to be removed from the track at around noon, and Via service is expected to ramp up gradually throughout the afternoon with some delays.

Charter buses transported passengers Thursday following the incident.

About 3,600 passengers were affected Thursday alone, including 1,600 people taking the train between Toronto and Ottawa, and another 2,000 between Toronto and Montreal. They will get a 50 per cent off voucher, Via said.

26 cars derailed

About 26 cars of the 68-car eastbound train left the track. The derailed cars include:

- Two loaded automobile carriers.

- Five cars carrying carbon powder.

- 13 unloaded fuel tank cars. 

The fuel tank cars, though empty, contain a fuel residue. CN said Thursday there were no leaks or exposures.

Customers waiting for the 7:30 a.m. train from the Ottawa train station to Toronto were told there would be a 30-minute delay to board buses.

"It's definitely a glitch in our day but I'm just happy that it didn't happen when we were on the train," said passenger Kristen Ward, who along with her family may miss their connection to Chatham, Ont.

Residents thankful it wasn't worse

The experience stirred memories of the Lac-Mégantic derailment just over a year ago, when a train carrying crude oil derailed in the small Quebec community, killing 47 people.

"It is a big concern … it could have been a disaster in our city," said Lily Lynch, who works at a restaurant three kilometres from the crash site.

"When the building starts to shake you start to wonder what's on that train."

CN said safety is its top priority.

"We have a very comprehensive safety management system in place that includes very thorough inspections of our track infrastructure as well as rail cars," said spokeswoman Lindsay Fedchyshyn.

"We work very closely with local response agencies, fire departments whose communities we run through."

- On mobile? Click here to see a tweet of the train derailment.

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