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Fiery Canadian Pacific derailment prompts evacuation, highway closure

Authorities evacuate town of Guernsey, Saskatchewan, and close five-mile stretch of key Western Canada highway after morning accident involving CP train.

Wreckage from a Canadian Pacific train that derailed in Saskatchewan on Feb. 6. (Photo: Patty Prentice/Facebook)

A Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) trail derailed early Thursday morning in Saskatchewan in a fiery wreck that forced the evacuation of a nearby village and the closure of a portion of Highway 16, a key trucking route in Western Canada.

The accident occurred about 6:15 a.m. CST east of Guernsey, CP said in a statement. The railway is making initial assessments as emergency responders tend to the wreck.

No one was injured in the derailment, but authorities are evacuating residents of Guernsey because of smoke from the wreckage, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Capt. Rob King told FreightWaves.

CP had no immediate information about what the train was hauling. A photo from a witness appears to show several tanker cars fully engulfed in flames.

The RCMP closed a small stretch of Highway 16 southeast of Saskatoon near the junction with Highway 20. The five-mile diversion should add about 15 to 20 minutes for truckers, King said.

“We’ll open the road as soon as we can,” he said. 

Saskatchewan Highway 16 serves as a key freight route in Western Canada, linking with Edmonton and Winnipeg as part of the Trans-Canada Highway’s Yellowhead branch.

The accident came less than two months after a CP train hauling crude derailed — also near Guernsey.

A recent CBC documentary also raised questions about CP’s handling of the investigation into a fatal accident in February 2019. CP criticized the CBC’s reporting, calling elements of it misleading.


  1. speedyk

    Another round of precision scheduled railroading for CN and ALL of the experience will be gone in trade for short term gain.

    Follow up with how many of the track and T&E people are relatively new at that location please. That’s the real story, along with fallen traffic levels after closing unwanted profitless lines.

    No sympathy for the RR industry, only for people who live near one.

  2. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! IMHO

    Quote :

    Ignited Sask. crude oil train was using new puncture-resistant tank cars endorsed by feds

    The Canadian Pacific Railway train that derailed, leaked crude oil and ignited a large fire in rural Saskatchewan Thursday was using new, industry-standard tank cars meant to be more puncture-resistant than their predecessors, the ones that exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Que.”


    IMHO .

    1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! IMHO

      Obviously they can’t fabricate a puncture resistant tank . Nor do the “Feds” know what the heck they are endorsing . This draws forth a “competence” issue .

      PLAN B

      Awhile back CN came up with an idea to solidify the liquid and to ship it in a solid form . They engineered CanaPux .

      The bitumen is mixed with recycled plastic and shaped in a similar form to a hockey puck . Recently they appear to have changed the design into a square wrapped in a plastic case . I wouldn’t seal it in an envelope though . I would keep it unwrapped like a real hockey puck and ship it in rail cars similar to the way they ship coal rather than like a liquid in a tank .

      So they do have a solution . Until that solution is implemented , the government should disallow them from shipping oil by rail in liquid form .

      In regards to fuel & gasoline being hauled over public roads through tanker trucks , I thought about something that would prevent it from igniting if ever in a collision and the tanker punctured . Too long to explain here though . However, it would be cost effective ,simple and safe , and environmentally friendly while being extremely simple to recoup .


  3. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! IMHO

    What a shame ! These rail co’s need to get their act together . This has become beyond outrageous !


    At least nobody was injured .

Comments are closed.

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected].