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Canadian Railroads > Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN


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Date: 11/26/12 22:52
Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: cp1400

On Sat Nov 24 the side of Jackass Mountain came down on CN track just west of the tunnel at MP 109.3 on the Ashcroft Sub. Crews have been working to clear the slide but two days later rock continues to come sliding down right in to the Fraser River. Described as 200 feet long and 50 feet deep the slide contains several large rocks that will have to be dynamited out of the way. Scale crews were also assembling above the slide along the Trans Canada Highway to get at loose rock from above. The terrain here is very steep to sheer vertical. The location is immediately below what is know as the summit of Jackass Mountain on the Trans Canada Highway and about one mile east of Falls Creek siding on CN.

Trackage through this area is directional running with westbound trains normally using CN and eastbounds using CP which is on the other side of the Fraser River here. For several days trains in both directions are running on CP amongst considerable delays. New chairman E Hunter Harrison of CP is in the process of ripping out some of the CP sidings that previous management saw fit to keep for just such incidents. The only siding decommissioned so far is Katz at MP 44.9 on the Cascade Sub. Katz could have been put to good use by dispatchers today. I've heard other planned closures include China Bar and Chaumox sidings. Today they were key to some flexibility for dispatchers that are struggling to get what is normally 40-50 daily trains through this canyon but for now on single track. Word is they are trying for a Wednesday opening on CN but there is a lot of material to move that keeps raining down on them.

I was able to find two spots on the opposite side of the canyon to show just what crews are up against. Lucky no train hit this mess. It could have been a deadly ride into the Fraser River.

cp1400








Date: 11/26/12 22:54
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: cp1400

Here's three more.

cp1400








Date: 11/26/12 22:58
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: cp1400

A second slide the same day apparently struck and derailed a freight train in the Thompson Canyon in the area of the White Canyon between Morris and Lasha. The only evidence I could find that looked like a recent slide was this small one around mile 91.


cp1400



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/12 00:13 by cp1400.




Date: 11/26/12 23:30
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: defect_detector

Absolutely insane... Thankfully no train was under it when it broke loose.



Date: 11/27/12 00:07
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: jc76

It would be unbelievable if they have that cleared by Wednesday!



Date: 11/27/12 00:17
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: dan

lot more material ready to come down, weds doubtful as well



Date: 11/27/12 00:29
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: DPKrause

Wow what a mess...and just think, it's only the last week of November. Could be a bad winter if this is starting already.



Date: 11/27/12 02:27
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: MrMRL

In picture 3, that large white "potato" shaped rock partially buried near the top, is that loose?

That thing has got to be 50 ft long if not more! Can't imagine the guts the backhoe driver must have to be scooping away dirt below that. They better have spotters everywhere and multiple planned escape paths to high tail it when that small planet starts to slip.

Canada... ~ Serious mountain railroading.

Mr. MRL



Date: 11/27/12 03:02
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: andersonb109

Gives me serious pause about taking #1 out this year!



Date: 11/27/12 06:24
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: shoretower

Little-known fact: the contractor who built the Canadian Northern through the Thompson canyon was Andrew Onderdonk, who later built the Washington Heights section of the first subway in New York. North of 125th Street, it's mostly in a bored, deep rock tunnel. Looks like he put his Canadian experience to good use.



Date: 11/27/12 07:22
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: SOO6617

shoretower Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Little-known fact: the contractor who built the
> Canadian Northern through the Thompson canyon was
> Andrew Onderdonk, who later built the Washington
> Heights section of the first subway in New York.
> North of 125th Street, it's mostly in a bored,
> deep rock tunnel. Looks like he put his Canadian
> experience to good use.

He also built the CP through the area.



Date: 11/27/12 07:48
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: skeezix91

Man, that slide is nuts!


Brian H.



Date: 11/27/12 07:51
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: Railbaron

Is the bench the railroad was built on still there or have they been able to determine that? If the slide took out the bench the railroad was built on it could be a much longer repair, ala the Frazier slide on the UP in Oregon.



Date: 11/27/12 08:51
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: ALcocentury

Wow,terrible landslide. I agree w/ MR.MRL,as a retired cons.equip.oper.,those opers,need lots of spotters,and escape rte,thats a mean looking job,tons of unstable material to deal with,kudos to those equip.opers.,hope they'll all be safe,and no problems arise.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/27/12 09:03 by ALcocentury.



Date: 11/27/12 08:54
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: tomstp

Man those backhoe operators have got a lot of guts. I'd be scared to death that cleaning up the bottom would let the top loose again. If I was CN I would dynamite that thing.



Date: 11/27/12 09:35
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: cp1400

There was plenty of talk on the radio when I was in the area. Every time even the smallest amount of rock started to slide from above there were warnings to the operators.

In picture 3 what looks like a cloud of dust around that "50 foot boulder" is actually falling material. Towards the end of my day there I overheard a crew on a high rail was all loaded with the dynamite and ready to head to the site. Plans to blast some of this away are already being formulated.


cp1400



Date: 11/27/12 10:32
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: Lackawanna484

Thanks for the pictures.

The courage of the people who built these rail lines, and the D&RGW etc through the mountains is amazing. Working with donkeys, dynamite, and ropes slung down the mountains.



Date: 11/27/12 10:32
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: TCnR

Any chance of blocking the river with the debris?

That happened down where the fish hatchery is, way back in the early 1900's. They had to leave it dammed for a number of years. Eventually opened it up as part of a Salmon recovery project.

I recognize that area from taking photo from the pull-out at the top. Major geology in that area. also spotted the soon to be moveable objects in the slip zone. I've heard working open rock faces like that is an artform of it's own. Lot's of thought to escape and staging areas. Also lots of special equipment and concern about equipment abuse. When I visited the Canyon in the past it appeared that CN knew the canyon dynamics. Hopefully that survived the Corporate transition.



Date: 11/27/12 11:54
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: rschonfelder

I think you are talking about "Hell's Gate" and, if so, that is not a Salmon Hatchery but rather a Fish Ladder.

Rick



Date: 11/27/12 12:50
Re: Major Fraser Canyon Slide on CN
Author: TCnR

Yep, it's that CRS kickin' in.
...and my Boss says I don't have time to get it right the first time.



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