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Clean-up work continues following train derailment in Kingston

Work continues on Thursday, Mar. 5, 2020 to clean up and repair the area following a train derailment on Wednesday, Mar. 4, 2020. Photo via Platinum Auto Sales.

Drivers and pedestrians should expect continued road closures around the site of the train derailment that occurred yesterday as clean-up work continues well into Thursday, Mar. 5, 2020.

The derailment, which occurred at just after 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 4, 2020 on Bath Road near Queen Mary Road, has closed a major artery in the city, causing rerouted traffic between Kingston’s west end and the downtown core. CN Rail crews worked throughout the night, and all rail cars are now upright. It appears that crews are also working on the roadway and surrounding area, as well, remediating damages where the rail cars fell in the marshy area.

Those wanting to travel through the area on foot or by vehicle will have to wait a little longer, explained Sgt. Steve Koopman of Kingston Police, who noted that foul play doesn’t seem to be a factor in the derailment itself at ths time.

“There’s no indication it’s being treated as suspicious, but we’ll wait to get full information from the rail inspectors,” Koopman said. “An officer on scene says the rough ETA is late afternoon or early evening before the road is clear (maybe 4 to 6 p.m. if all goes well).”

A spokesperson for CN Rail said yesterday that approximately eight rail cars had derailed, and that no injuries occurred as a result.

“There is no danger to public safety or the environment as the minimal amount of product which was spilled from one railcar is contained to CN’s property and did not contaminate any source of water,” said Jonathan Abecassis, Media Relations Senior Manager at CN Rail. “The product, Adipic Acid, is a solid industrial product commonly used in food and to make everyday household items such as nylon. CN would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused by this incident.”

While some businesses in the area, such as Kingston Hyundai and Subaru of Kingston, are able to remain open with customers accessing their lots from Queen Mary Road, Platinum Auto Sales, which is situated directly beside the rail line, had to close following the derailment. Police and CN workers have had to access the derailment scene from their lot, according to Corey Testa, Manager of Platinum Auto Sales. CN and their contractors for the clean-up operations have equipment there, and all access to the business is blocked by equipment, rock piles, and vehicles. But, Testa pointed out, he and the Platinum Auto Sales team are just happy to help.

Crews working at the derailment site. Photo via Platinum Auto Sales.
Crews working at the derailment. Photo via Platinum Auto Sales.
A steady stream of large equipment and vehicles on Bath Road. Photo via Platinum Auto Sales.
Equipment on the lot as cranes work to move a derailed rail car beside the lot. Photo via Platinum Auto Sales.

“I feel traumatized enough, I am having an issue watching Thomas and Friends with my daughter,” Testa joked with a laugh. “All joking aside, we will be happy when this is cleaned up so we can deliver vehicles several clients are waiting patiently for.”

Kingstonist will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as the work continues and the roadways are eventually reopened.

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