CN, Environment and Climate Change Canada provide brief updates regarding Kingston train derailment

One of the five derailed train cars from the May 5, 2023, derailment north of Bath Road in Kingston sits on the tracks at Invista on Front Road in the days after the incident, showing clear signs of the damages sustained as a result. Submitted photo.

After authorities and experts weighed in on the environmental implications of the train derailment just north of Bath Road, government agencies and CN Rail have provided a few brief updates.

The derailment, which occurred on Friday, May 5, 2023, remains under investigation, though the derailed cars have been removed from the site. Those train cars that fell off the bridge as it collapsed beneath the train were lifted out of the marshland, and now sit at the Invista Centre – the destination of the train in the first place, as the train was pushing cars towards the nylon manufacturing site on the spur line dedicated to serving Invista on Front Road.

As previously reported, in order to complete the removal of the train cars, tons of gravel was poured into and onto the marshland surrounding the now-broken rail bridge. CN Rail has now provided further information on that infilling process and plan.

“CN used about 5,000 tons of locally sourced shot rock for the access road and building up the area where the bridge collapsed, and roughly 250 tons of locally sourced ballast to help reconstruct the roadbed,” Julien Bédard, a media relations spokesperson with CN, said in response to Kingstonist inquiries.

Work to remediate the area following the May 5 train derailment saw tons of gravel (rock shot) used to create access lanes for necessary vehicles and equipment. Submitted photo.

Bédard also answered one of the questions many posed upon hearing of or seeing the infilling in the area following the derailment.

“As part of remediation of the site, some of this material will be removed to restore the site as close as it was before the incident,” Bédard relayed.

Last week, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) pointed to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), its federal counterpart, as the authority dealing with the environmental implications associated with the derailment and subsequent remedial work. After reaching out to ECCC on Thursday, May 11, 2023, Kingstonist received response from the federal agency on Monday, May 15, 2023.

According to ECCC, their ministry has been charged with investigating the situation.

“The Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Enforcement Branch has been advised of the train derailment that happened on May 5, 2023, in Kingston, Ontario, and has opened a file on the matter,” said Cecilia Parsons, media relations spokesperson for ECCC. “Enforcement officers attended the site from May 5 to May 7, 2023, and took samples. ECCC is unable to provide further information at this time.”

Kingstonist continues to follow up with CN, the MOE, and ECCC, and will provide further coverage as more information becomes available.

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