Via Rail train delays after crash with derailed CN Rail cars near Kingston

Not exactly the best start to the Civic long-weekend for hundreds of VIA Rail passengers.

There were significant delays for passengers onboard a VIA Rail train that left Ottawa, Friday afternoon at 12:30p.m. en route to Toronto. The VIA Train was forced stop near Kingston around 2:15p.m. after hitting a derailed CN freight train.

CN Spokesperson Jim Feeny said the six last cars on an east-bound CN train derailed around 7 km east of Gananoque. Five of them were empty lumber cars and one was a load of lube oil. Feeny says one of the derailed empty cars struck and punctured the fuel-tank on the VIA Train locomotive on the adjacent rail line.

Fuel did spill from the VIA Train but it's not clear how much, though Feeny said the spill has been contained.

VIA Rail said because of the incident, all trains travelling between Toronto and Ottawa, and Toronto and Montreal have been cancelled for the rest of Friday. They expect service to resume on Saturday. The cancellations are reported to affect some 2500-3000 passengers.

VIA Rail said there was a minor injury among the 300 passengers aboard Train 47. CN Rail said no one in the freight train’s crew was injured.

As of late Friday afternoon, CN Rail was working with VIA to move their train to a near-by crossing so passengers can be bussed to their destination.

"Rail traffic on the main line is stopped for the time being, until we can ensure that the passengers are taken care of, that the environment has been protected and that any track damage can be repaired and inspected, so it is safe to resume operations," said Feeny.

A full investigation is being launched and Feeny said CN Rail will fully cooperate with investigating agencies.

VIA Rail has not responded to requests for comment.

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