Railroad tracks that carry goods to and from the Port of Vancouver have been shut by heavy rains and resultant mudslides in British Columbia.
The closures threaten to further delay transport of materials and crops at Canada’s biggest port and complicate global supply-chain snarls that have led to shortages and price spikes.
This is the second time in less than five months that both of Canada’s major railways have simultaneously had tracks damaged by extreme weather in the mountainous and heavily forested province. Thousands of rail cars were idled in early July by wildfires, creating a bottleneck of exports and delaying imports.
Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s track is out and is “affecting rail service in the region,” a spokesperson said in an email.
A “washout” from heavy rainfall has impacted a Canadian National Railway Co. track, the railway said in a notice to customers that was seen by Bloomberg.
“CN’s crews are ready to safely tend to the affected sites but await a stabilization of conditions to begin the work,” Canadian National spokesman Mathieu Gaudreault said in an email. “CN will continue to monitor the affected sites and will begin construction efforts once it is deemed safe to do so.”
The British Columbia track outages are near Cheam View and Hope, which are just over 130 km (80 miles) east of Vancouver, along the main transportation route to the port.
Meanwhile, heavy winds prompted Global Container Terminals to briefly shut its Vanterm terminal and close Deltaport later in the day. Vancouver was whipped by gusts exceeding 80 kilometers an hour (50 mph) at one point Monday, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada figures.
“All intermodal and carload traffic northbound and eastbound from Vancouver, as well as traffic inbound to Vancouver from east/north of Kamloops is affected by this situation,” CN Rail said in an email to customers, adding it did not yet have an estimate for when the track will be passable.
The rainfall has closed highways due to mudslides and caused flooding and evacuations in some areas. Trans Mountain Pipeline was shut down Sunday evening as a precaution.