Trainload too tall an order for tunnel
Published: June 16, 2008
Source: Windsor Star

WINDSOR, Ont. - A Canadian Pacific Railroad train heading through the CP rail tunnel from Detroit suffered significant damage Sunday afternoon when shipping containers on 24 intermodal cars were partly crushed on the tunnel's roof, damaging contents but causing no injuries.

The incident happened shortly after 2 p.m. when the train entered the tunnel in Detroit, said CP spokesman Michael Spenard. The train, which had an an unspecified number of cars, was not carrying hazardous goods, Spenard said.

The intermodal cars are essentially rolling platforms on which containers are stacked. They contained a wide variety of manufactured goods, he said, adding the railroad had no damage estimate.

Asked why railroad officials didn't realize the damaged containers were too high, Spenard replied: "That's exactly what's being investigated." He said the crew - an locomotive engineer and conductor - was probably unaware of what was happening until they emerged on the Windsor side. "The locomotive engineer, he wouldn't necessarily have seen or heard anything," Spenard said. "It's an inconvenience, it's part of doing business," he said.

The railroad's claims department will have to assess damage. The tunnel is tall enough to accommodate double-stack rail cars, he said, but he did not know its dimensions. There was no information on whether any damage was caused to the roof of the tunnel. The cars remained parked on a CP rail siding Monday, as crews prepare to remove the containers and their contents.