|CTV News 5 May 2023|
Updated 6 May 2023 4.10 p.m.
CN Rail says there was a "limited leak" of adipic acid into the Little Cataraqui Creek from a derailed train car in Kingston, Ont.
However, officials insist there is no danger to the public or the drinking water following Friday's derailment.
The cleanup continues after six cars on a 12-car CN Rail train derailed and a small rail bridge collapsed on the Cataraqui Industrial Spur near Bath Road.
Officials initially said that there was no evidence any of the "dangerous goods' being transported by the train had spilled into the Little Cataraqui Creek.
However, on Saturday, CN Rail said there was a "limited leak," which has now been contained.
"One of the rail cars transporting adipic acid experienced a limited leak which has since been controlled. Adipic acid is a solid industrial product commonly used in food and to make everyday household items such as nylon," CN Rail said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.
"There is no danger to public safety or drinking water."
As of Saturday afternoon, CN Rail said four of the six derailed cars have been re-railed and "are in the process of being safely removed from the site."
Transport Canada says the department is "monitoring the situation closely" in Kingston, and inspectors have been sent to the site.
Bath Road remains closed between Queen Mary Road and Armstrong Road while the cleanup continues.
Kingston transit is warning riders to expect delays due to the road closure. A free shuttle operated by Kingston Transit is available for pedestrians and cyclists who need to cross Bath Road at the derailment site.
CBC News 5 May 2023
Updated May 6
Kingston train derailment caused 'limited' acid leak, CN says
CN says no risk to drinking water, public safety after small spill
One of the cars on a freight train that derailed in Kingston, Ont., Friday morning experienced a "limited leak" of industrial acid, CN now says.
The rail car was transporting adipic acid, a "solid industrial product commonly used in food and to make everyday household items such as nylon," CN said in a statement Saturday.
The spill, which was no more than five litres, has now been controlled and poses no threat to public safety or drinking water, CN said.
The rail company initially said no leaks had been detected.
The train was carrying what CN described as "dangerous goods" when it derailed over the Little Cataraqui Creek, which is part of a marshland conservation area, at around 10:35 a.m. Friday.
CN said Saturday that its crews and local first responders remain on site, and four of the derailed cars are now back on the tracks.
Two of the cars ended up in the water after the derailment, Kingston Police said yesterday. There were three crew members on the train, but no injuries have been reported.
The derailment also caused a small rail bridge over the creek to collapse.
Bath Road has been closed between Queen Mary and Armstrong roads since the derailment and is expected to remain closed until Monday.
Ottawa Citizen 7 May 2023
Emergency services responding to train derailment in Kingston
Published May 05, 2023 - Last updated 1 day ago
A CN train that derailed Friday morning near Bath Road was carrying two chemicals to the Invista Canada Co. textile plant, but officials have not yet confirmed whether a spill occurred.
"The train was carrying dangerous goods; there are no reported leaks at this time," Julien Bedard, media relations adviser with CN rail, told the Whig-Standard Friday.
The two chemicals were adipic acid and hexamethylenediamine. Both are used by Invista Canada Co. to produce nylon.
"Both are not good for the water environment," Brad Joyce, commissioner of transportation and public works for the City of Kingston, said at the scene.
The Environment Ministry and Transport Canada have sent inspectors to the site.
The incident happened approximately 75 metres north of Bath Road at 10:35 a.m. as the train was travelling southeast on the Cataraqui Spur into the plant.
At the scene, it was clear the bridge over Little Cataraqui Creek had collapsed under the weight of the train near the east bank of the river. Kingston Police Const. Anthony Colangeli said five of the train’s 12 cars had derailed.
Joyce said that two cars had entered the river.
"The train was carrying two chemicals that are used in processes at Invista," Joyce said. "The chemicals we’ve identified, we don’t want them going into the water.
"At this point in time, it does not appear (there are) any major leaks, or even minor leaks, that we can tell. There may be some creosote, just from the rail ties that have broken."
Joyce said Kingston Fire and Rescue crews have set up a boom as a precaution and may set up additional booms if they find it necessary. He explained they did not find any evidence of a spill while using the Kingston Police drone to examine the scene.
"The water is not moving as aggressively as I thought it might be at this time of the season, and with the boom set up, we’re fairly confident that (a leak) can be contained if anything does occur," Joyce said. "It’s not good for the water, clearly, and we’re hoping it stays contained as (CN) remediates it."
Invista Canada Co. representative Paul Brown said the textile company is aware of the derailment.
"The derailment is on the CN Spur line and the train was inbound to our site," Brown said. "Invista stands ready to support CN and local authorities as they continue to assess their next steps to safely clear the tracks."
There were three crew members aboard the train, none of whom initially reported injuries, Colangeli, said.
Gary Wheeler, spokesperson for the Environment Ministry, explained the ministry’s role is "to assess any environmental impacts and ensure the responsible parties eliminate any adverse effects, clean up the spill, and restore the natural environment."
He said CN is the responsible party in this case and they’ve already retained a cleanup contractor and environmental consultant. They were expected to arrive Friday afternoon. The ministry’s environmental officer will continue to assess environmental conditions and will follow up to ensure appropriate steps are being taken to contain any spilled material and to mitigate any environmental impacts.
Wheeler said there is no known threat to human health from the derailment. The ministry doesn’t expect any impacts to drinking water, but it has notified the municipality’s water plants as a precaution.
Krista Fazackerley, supervisor of communications and education for Cataraqui Conservation, explained that Little Cataraqui Creek, with its headwaters being near Glenburnie, generally flows southwest and empties into Lake Ontario at Cataraqui Bay.
While the river has some groundwater contributions, there are not many.
"Primarily, the creek receives its water from precipitation that flows from higher to lower areas and therefore collects in smaller tributary streams that lead into the main branches of the creek," Fazackerley said.
Police said on Twitter at about 10:50 a.m. that Bath Road has been closed to traffic between Queen Mary Road and Armstrong Road. Colangeli anticipated Bath Road would be closed for the rest of the day, depending on how much cleanup would be required.
"Please find an alternate route on your morning and afternoon commute," police said.
Police said in a news release that they are asking the public to avoid the area of the tracks between Armstrong Road and Queen Mary Road as a precaution and so emergency crews can do their work.
At about 11 a.m., Kingston Transit announced that all of its Route 11 and Express 700 buses would not be able to provide service between Portsmouth Avenue and Centennial Drive.
CTV News 7 May 2023
Small Spill Contained as Last Rail Car Removed from Derailment Site
7 May 2023
Kingston Ontario - The last rail car involved in a derailment in Kingston has been removed from the tracks, but a small amount of adipic acid was spilled in the process, CN says.
Six cars of a 12 car train derailed Friday when a small rail bridge collapsed on the Cataraqui Industrial Spur near Bath Road.
CN said the last car was removed at around 10:00, Sunday, but a small amount of adipic acid was released into a prepared containment area.
"The contained product is currently being extracted," a CN spokesperson said in an email just after 13:00. Environment Canada and CN contractors have been monitoring water throughout the recovery process and there is no danger to public safety or to drinking water."
Adipic acid is a solid industrial product commonly used to make nylon, but it can also be used as a food additive.
There was a limited leak of the acid Saturday, CN said, which was also contained.
The city of Kingston said Sunday that the eastbound lanes of Bath Road between Armstrong and Queen Mary roads would reopen for the Monday morning commute from 06:30 to 08:30.
"Full closure of Bath Road will resume at 08:30 and remain in place in place during the afternoon commute. Detours and the Kingston Transit shuttle will also resume at 08:30," the city said Sunday.
CN estimates that work at the site will be completed by Tuesday.
CBC News 11 May 2023
Transport Canada to inspect Kingston rail spur following 3rd derailment in 3 years
Transport Canada says it will inspect the track, bridges and crossings along the entire Cataraqui Industrial Spur, a section of rail in Kingston, Ont., that's seen three derailments in the past three years.
The commitment comes after six cars CN said were carrying "dangerous goods" left the track on May 5, which caused a small leak of industrial acid and shut down a major road for roughly four days for around-the-clock cleanup.
Residents and officials say the frequency of incidents on the same short stretch has left them concerned about safety and searching for answers.
The derailment happened in the "heart of the city," according to Mayor Bryan Paterson, who couldn't believe the scale of the mess it left behind.
He said CN has committed to working with the city and local officials have asked the company to share the results of its investigations into previous incidents at the site.
"I think that there should be a full broad investigation to understand, is there anything that's leading to these derailments?" Paterson said.
Data collected by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada shows there have been four other derailments on the spur in the past 19 years - one each in 2004 and 2007, and two in 2020.
In a statement, CN said it values safety and will apply lessons learned from the most recent incident to improve its operations.
"The cause of the derailment is still under investigation, but it remains important to remember that each incident is different so we would caution against linking previous incidents," spokesperson Julien Bédard wrote in an email.
CN won't share inspection reports
While railway companies, including CN, are responsible for maintenance and safety along their infrastructure, Transport Canada monitors those efforts through audits and its own inspections to make sure rules are followed.
It directed questions about the maintenance and inspection history of the bridge to CN.
But in an email to CBC the company said it does not publicly share inspection reports, citing "safety and security reasons."
CN did say the rail bridge over Little Cataraqui Creek, the site of the derailment, is inspected annually and the last inspection happened in October 2022.
The company did not respond to questions about the age of the bridge or when it last underwent a major repair.
Eric Gagnon, a Kingston-based rail enthusiast who has written about the spur on his blog, Trackside Treasure, said it's built up a "very bad reputation."
He said the five-kilometre section is a low-speed service for an industrial plant, rather than rail that sees frequent passenger traffic, which could be a factor in the derailments.
"That says to me, we only have to maintain it to that standard," he said.
"It's a business, and you're not going to invest any more money than you have to, but I think there is a real safety component in that equation at some point."
'There is a problem here'
Gagnon said officials need to recognize "there is a problem here" given the fact chemicals and acids are being carted through a marshland.
CN said "significant upgrades" have been made to the track bed near the derailment site and it "diligently inspects all of its infrastructure and makes repairs when necessary," with safety in mind.
Constable describes Kingston train derailment that collapsed small bridge
Kingston Police constable Anthony Colangeli said five cars derailed, some of which fell into the water.
Transport Canada's last inspection at the site happened in 2020 and focused on the flashing lights and bells at the crossing, but its examination following last week's derailment will be more fulsome.
It will include "inspections on the crossings, warning systems, track and bridge structures on the entire CN Industrial Spur," wrote spokesperson Hicham Ayoun in an email.
"Appropriate action" will be taken if any deficiencies are identified, he added.
Kingstonist 16 May 2023
CN and Environment and Climate Change Canada Provide Brief Updates Regarding Kingston Derailment
Kingston Ontario - After authorities and experts weighed in on the environmental implications of the train derailment just north of Bath Road, government agencies and CN have provided a few brief updates.
The derailment, which occurred on Friday, 5 May 2023, remains under investigation, though the derailed cars have been removed from the site.
Those train cars that fell off the bridge as it collapsed beneath the train were lifted out of the marshland, and now sit at the Invista Centre, the destination of the train in the first place, as the train was pushing cars towards the nylon manufacturing site on the spur line dedicated to serving Invista on Front Road
As previously reported, in order to complete the removal of the train cars, tons of gravel was poured into and onto the marshland surrounding the now-broken rail bridge.
CN has now provided further information on that infilling process and plan.
"CN used about 5,000 tons of locally sourced shot rock for the access road and building up the area where the bridge collapsed, and roughly 250 tons of locally sourced ballast to help reconstruct the roadbed," Julien Bedard, a media relations spokesperson with CN, said in response to Kingstonist inquiries.
Bedard also answered one of the questions many posed upon hearing of, or seeing, the infilling in the area following the derailment.
"As part of remediation of the site, some of this material will be removed to restore the site as close as it was before the incident," Bedard relayed.
Last week, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) pointed to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), its federal counterpart, as the authority dealing with the environmental implications associated with the derailment and subsequent remedial work.
After reaching out to ECCC on Thursday, 11 May 2023, Kingstonist received response from the federal agency on Monday, 15 May 2023.
According to ECCC, their ministry has been charged with investigating the situation.
"The Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Enforcement Branch has been advised of the train derailment that happened on 5 May 2023 in Kingston, and has opened a file on the matter," said Cecilia Parsons, media relations spokesperson for ECCC.
"Enforcement officers attended the site from 5 to 7 May 2023 and took samples. ECCC is unable to provide further information at this time."
Kingstonist continues to follow up with CN, the MO