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NIAGARA FALLS - Procedures are now in place at the border in Niagara Falls that should prevent any run away railcars from crossing the Whirlpool Bridge from the United States into Canada.
Specific details as to how that is being accomplished is not being made public by Canada Border Services Agency.
On Aug. 12, at about 1:30 a.m., an empty rail car somehow became disconnected and broke free from the CSX rail yard in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and started rolling down the tracks toward the Whirlpool Bridge.
The freight car rolled 2 1/2 kilometres down the track to the Whirlpool Bridge, crossed the bridge’s upper level tracks and travelled a few hundred metres before coming to a stop near the Via Rail station on Bridge St. in Niagara Falls, Ont.
CSX rail officials investigated the incident and were treating it as an act of vandalism. They believed someone pulled a pin and released the freight car.
“The single rail car carrier was empty and we are confident it just got dislodged as cars were being moved into place on the U.S. side,” said CBSA spokeswoman Jean D’Amelio Swyer.
“The CBSA, in consultation with our partners has reviewed and reinforced our policies and procedures to ensure that such an incident does not reoccur. For security reasons, I cannot provide information on specifics.”
Michael Scioli, a lead border patrol agent with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said once the alarms went off they investigated to see if anyone had gone across into Canada, but they found no evidence that happened.
When they contacted the railway company they learned one of the railcars had become dislodged.
“From our end, the alarms went off and we were there on time,” said Scioli.
The empty rail car that crossed into Canada is the type used to transport automobiles by rail.
CBSA has never explained why there was an 11-hour gap from the time the railcar entered Canada and them responding to it.
This article first appeared on www.stcatharinesstandard.ca
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