In response to the devastating wildfires in British Columbia, Transport Canada has issued a 48-hour halt to rail movements, beginning today, July 9, 2021, at 12:01 am PDT.
This will allow for residents who live in areas near rail lines to temporarily return to their homes in a safe manner. This announcement comes after several rail lines were damaged, causing rail service to be temporarily stopped earlier this week and subsequently restored. Rail service in and out of the Port of Vancouver was also temporarily stopped causing delays in the processing of cargo.
Earlier this week, the Port of Vancouver communicated to stakeholders regarding the large volume of trains waiting to arrive at the port. Updates indicate that work is being done to clear this backlog, but could impact operations in the coming weeks. In addition to the interruption of rail service, there were also several major road closures across British Columbia also resulting from the fires.
“The Government of Canada is committed to supporting those affected by the devastating wildfires in British Columbia. This Ministerial Order is being put in place in the interest of safe railway operations and to protect residents who are temporarily returning to inspect their homes as safely as possible.” – The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport
We will continue to monitor this situation and provide any relevant updates as they happen.