Part one of your rail news roundup for Thursday:
— Two CSX employees have been hospitalized after a CSX train derailed and caught fire this morning near Elkhorn City, Ky. WYMT-TV reports the train was carrying ethanol. CSX reports this afternoon that the train consisted of three locomotives, 96 loaded ethanol cars and two cars of sand, with four ethanol cars and one sand car derailing. The railroad also says that emergency responders determined an evacuation was not necessary, contrary to an earlier report. The crew members are reported to be safe but were hospitalized for observation. CSX says it is deploying environmental monitoring to minimize impacts of the accident.
— VIA Rail Canada has extended its cancellation of service between Toronto and Montreal and Toronto and Ottawa through at least Friday. The passenger carrier says it will need at least 36 hours to resume service after the blockade of its route through Belleville, Ontario, ends, CTV reports. The blockade of the Canadian National Railway line, part of a protest over a pipeline in British Columbia, has entered its second week.
— Business groups and the Canadian government expressed increasing concern over the ongoing blockades, saying they are beginning to take a toll on the Canadian economy, Bloomberg reports. Oil refiners and grain producers are among those speaking against the disruptions to rail service, while the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said it is “deeply concerned about the damage to the Canadian economy.”
— The Metropolitan Council, which oversees transit in Minneapolis-St. Paul, says it will spend $1.8 million in police overtime this year to address safety concerns on bus and light rail lines, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The system saw a significant increase in crime last year, and two Metro Transit operators said in recent testimony before a legislative committee that they fear for their safety while at work.