The CN rail line goes through many northern communities. Chris Gareau photo

CN train derails north of Smithers

MP Nathan Cullen wants faster response time for the Northwest as traffic increases.

A CN train derailed about 30 miles north of Smithers on Friday, Dec. 8, at approximately 7 a.m.

There were no injuries. According to CN, the multiple cars that were derailed were empty, and there were no spills or environmental issues.

Train traffic resumed Sunday morning. The cause is under investigation.

“I’ve never been satisfied with Canada’s rail safety record or the prescriptions,” said Skeena-Bulkey Valley MP Nathan Cullen.

Two planned propane export facilities and a fuel depot in Prince Rupert mean more explosive cargo could soon be coming through the Bulkley Valley’s communities, often through residential neighbourhoods.

“I’ve had a few conversations with the Minister of Transport. We’ve talked about this (liquefied propane) project in particular, the increased risk and what mitigations are going to come in. They haven’t committed to anything yet specific to this proposal, yet I think there’s more to come,” said Cullen.

“They have a whole new national strategy that was rolled out a couple of years after Lac Mégantic, but there was much more said than done and I’m looking for the actions not just the words … As we saw with the recent derailment, they’re going to continue to happen. Yet when you get more risk on the line, my argument is you have to bring more equipment and more training into the region because the current response times for any derailments while are technically acceptable by the law, are not acceptable at all by our community standards.”

— With files from Flavio Nienow.

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