By Railfan & Railroad Staff
LYTTON, B.C. — Canadian Pacific and Canadian National have dispatched maintenance crews to southern British Columbia to try and reopen the main lines through the Thompson and Fraser River Canyons following a devastating series of washouts there.
On Wednesday, CP officials said that “There is no time estimate for when service will resume.”
Earlier this week, the Pacific Northwest was pummeled with wind and rain, but some of the worst damage came in southern British Columbia, where a state of emergency has been declared. Landslides took out sections of highway and railway throughout the area. In one instance, a washout occurred beneath a train. CP and CN have a joint operating agreement through the area. According to CP officials, train service is presently suspended between Spences Bridge and Falls Creek.
“CP has deployed crews and equipment to the region, and CP engineering teams are working to repair the damaged rail corridor as quickly as possible where safe to do so,” the railroad announced Wednesday.
Neither railroad has said if they will start to detour traffic around the track closures although there are options if they wanted to reach Vancouver again. CN could move traffic north to Prince George, B.C., and then south via the former British Columbia Railway. CP could move traffic south into the United States via Union Pacific’s Spokane International and then west via BNSF Railway in Washington State. Depending on how long the main lines through the area are out, either of those could become viable options.