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CN Rail reopens Alberta mainline blocked by derailment, fire

Wednesday, 23 Oct 2013 | 12:05 PM ET

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Canadian National Railway said on Wednesday that its mainline through Alberta had reopened after the company cleared derailed and burned-out tanker cars that had blocked a portion of the track since the weekend.

The company said the line was cleared late on Tuesday and that shipments would resume, although customers could still face some delays as traffic returns to normal.

Early on Saturday, 13 cars on a mixed-freight train derailed near the hamlet of Gainford, Alberta. One car containing highly flammable propane exploded and three others burst into flames.

There were no injuries, but the incident again focused attention on the safety of shipping hazardous goods by rail, coming just a few months after 47 people died when a crude oil train derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

The line carries traffic between the province of Alberta's capital, Edmonton, and the Pacific ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.