Canadian Pacific (CP) has reopened its railway line between Kamloops, B.C. and Vancouver following a severe rainstorm. The first trains going to Vancouver arrived Wednesday morning. They were loaded grain trains and a train carrying fuel.
Crews have worked around the clock after the Nov. 14 atmospheric river rainstorm hit B.C., dumping nearly 200 millimetres of rain over two days in some areas. Thirty locations across CP’s Thompson and Cascade subdivisions were damaged with 20 resulting in significant loss of infrastructure.
“I am extremely proud of the CP team. Their extraordinary dedication, grit and perseverance in the face of extremely challenging conditions are the reasons we are able to restore our vital rail network in only eight days,” said Keith Creel, CP president and CEO. “The following 10 days will be critical. As we move from response to recovery to full service resumption, our focus will be on working with customers to get the supply chain back in sync.”
To repair the railway infrastructure, CP crews moved 150,000 cubic yards of material to rebuild the damaged areas, equivalent to 10,000 tandem dump truck loads or 30,000 one-ton dump truck loads of earth, riprap (rock) and other construction material. This was accomplished with more than 80 pieces of heavy work equipment and mobilizing hundreds of CP employees and contractors from across the network
While the railroad may have reopened, there remains a difficult road ahead for B.C. residents and businesses impacted by this event. CP continues to work closely with local and B.C. authorities and Indigenous communities in the Fraser Canyon to coordinate the delivery of critical materials, equipment, food and fuel.
CP teams arranged food delivery to the Spuzzum First Nation, secured 10 portable generators to be delivered to the Cooks Ferry First Nation and arranged meals, milk and baby formula for the Boston Bar Food Bank.
“The force and impact of this event were extensive and evolved from hour to hour,” said Creel. “CP worked in lock-step in partnership with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Transport Canada and contractors to identify damage and priority locations to get highways and our network reopened. We are committed to continuing to support the recovery with our experience, expertise and resources as we do our part to resume critical transportation services for Canadians and the North American economy.”