Police and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are continuing to investigate a train collision just west of Kingston between a Via Rail passenger train and a rail tanker on the evening of Thursday, September 5th.
Loyalist Fire, CN Police, OPP and EMS responded to the scene in the vicinity of Jim Snow Blvd in Loyalist Township at around 9 p.m. EMS remained on scene as a precaution and cleared once it was determined that none of the 112 passengers nor staff onboard had been injured.
Initially, there was confusion surrounding the cause of the collision, with Via Rail staff onboard the affected train telling passengers that they had hit a truck, according to Chrystal Wilson, one of the passengers on the eastbound Via train 48.
Responders searched several roadways in the vicinity of the train for signs of a truck or transport trailer, but were unable to find any. Continued investigation revealed that a derailed tanker car, upright but leaning over on a train track in the vicinity of Jim Snow Blvd, had been the cause of the collision.
The tanker, normally used to transport industrial materials such as asphalt, was fortunately empty at the time.
“CN crews responded to an incident involving a VIA train near Ernestown, Ontario,” confirmed Jonathan Abecassis of CN Media Relations. “The VIA train sideswiped an empty tank car that was derailed upright, and leaning into the VIA train’s path. There were no fires, injuries, or spills. The cause of the derailment is under investigation.”
At around midnight, the passengers of the train were transferred onto Via train 650 and continued their trip on to Kingston and Ottawa.
Alex Fournier of the Transportation Safety Board Of Canada confirmed that the TSB are also investigating the derailment, though they haven’t deployed a team to the scene yet. “At this point we are gathering data, getting photographs, interviewing crews, and then we will decide (in the coming days) what type of investigation will be conducted,” he said.