Monday, April 29, 2013
VIA 693 Derailment in Saskatchewan
VIA train 693, the Winnipeg-Churchill passenger train, derailed near Togo, Saskatchewan around 6 PM on Sunday night. There was a washout, likely due to spring runoff, and the track was undermined. There is a highly distorted but dramatic photo in the CBC article showing a coach hanging in mid-air with only one truck on the ground. Fortunately noone was injured beyond "a few scratches". The seven (7) passengers were taken to a nearby lodge in Duck Mountain Provincial Park for the night and presumably other arrangements have been made for the rest of their journey. Reports say the track may be out of service for two days.
There is no word on damage to the train, except that there was a fire under one of the engines, presumably from a punctured fuel tank. The news reports say the fire was quickly extinguished. The plume of smoke was visible from a CN freight train over a dozen miles away.
In case you are wondering why the train was in Saskatchewan, the CN Togo subdivision that VIA 692/693 takes does cross into Saskatchewan and the Hudson Bay is in Saskatchewan for about 4 hours before returning to Manitoba for the long trip north to Churchill. (VIA timetable - PDF)
The Transportation Safety Board has dispatched a team to the location to investigate.
Other References: Winnipeg Free Press article
EDIT: Added paragraph about engine fire.
EDIT: Added TSB comment.