Crews at a Canadian Pacific Railway service centre in Coquitlam, British Columbia, on Thursday, were seeing a crush of new riders in anticipation of the return of limited service after heavy rains caused some minor mudslides in the area.
The rain began Friday. “It rained like crazy,” Jack Kaye, a CP freight train conductor, told The Province. “This wall of water came rolling down the hill, smashed in the tracks and basically washed away all the things we had worked really hard to put back in place.” The rail line was closed Tuesday and partially reopened Wednesday, but only for freight services. Service wasn’t restored to the rest of the commuter line.
Services resumed Thursday, with northbound trains crossing the tracks over the Fraser River on platforms between Port Moody and Dartmouth, and southbound trains crossing it at various intervals on platforms between Port Moody and Port Coquitlam. On Saturday, trains will slowly make their way up the Fraser River, stopping to pick up passengers in Vancouver, Delta, North Vancouver, Surrey, and Maple Ridge.
“It’s important for local residents, for commuters who work near the site of where the mudslides occurred, and for the future of Vancouver Island,” the Vancouver Island Transportation Authority said in a statement.
CP spokesman Patrick Waldron said the firm hopes to increase to a full schedule over the weekend and return to full service by Monday.
In the meantime, CP has set up designated rail lines where people can catch trains while people line up on sidewalks or on the side of the road. Riders are asked to bring their own strollers or bring a friend or family member to pick them up.
Here is video of two CP railway crews overseeing a passenger train coming in to Richmond on Thursday morning: