Updated: Three rail workers hit by train in northeast Edmonton - Macleans.ca

Updated: Three rail workers hit by train in northeast Edmonton


EDMONTON – Three workers were struck and injured by a CN freight train Wednesday morning as they cleared snow and ice from rail switches along the tracks.

The men were being treated in hospital and two of the employees were reported to be in critical condition.

Edmonton Police Staff-Sgt. Rob Mills said the men were using snowblowers and wearing hearing protection. They didn’t hear the approaching train, which sounded its horn and hit the brakes as it slid towards them along the icy tracks.

“The train came along and saw them close to the track and tried to do some emergency braking, but unfortunately struck the three employees,” Mills said.

“All three were taken to hospital.”

Police said the east-bound train was going about 40 km/h.

The men are employed by A & B Rail Services Ltd. and were working under contract to CN.

Managers at A & B Rail Services were not immediately available for comment.

The collision is being investigated by CN, Alberta’s Occupational Healthy and Safety Department and federal safety regulators.

The Transportation Safety Board is also sending a team of investigators to the site of the accident to assess what happened.

Patrick Waldron, a CN Rail spokesman, said the company’s probe will include a review of its operating procedures, including safety.

“Obviously there are procedures in place for any workers, whether they are contract or regular workers, when they are out in the field,” Waldron said from Chicago.

“What happened this morning is under investigation so we can find out all of the answers.”

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Updated: Three rail workers hit by train in northeast Edmonton

  1. This is not the first time track workers have been hurt like this. The noise that the snowblower makes will mask the sound of an approaching train. Track protection procedures in place, if used correctly, could have prevented this. If we cannot learn from history, then we are doomed to repeat it.

    • Not the first time track workers have been hurt?? No doubt! Nobody mentions the motorists that run the crossing. Or yelling because the rail-workers don’t wave you across…which by law they can’t, they’re not traffic controllers. Listen while others can’t, you may save their lives.