3 crew members killed in CP train derailment near Field, B.C.


Three Canadian Pacific Railway crew members were killed early Monday in a train derailment east of Field, B.C.

The westbound freight train went off the tracks at about 1 a.m. MT, CP said in a release. The fatally injured crew members were on board the train at the time. 

A union representative said the train fell more than 60 metres from a bridge near the Alberta-British Columbia boundary.

Greg Edwards with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) said the workers had just taken over the train when it happened. 

The freight train fell more than 60 metres from a bridge near the Alberta-British Columbia boundary. (CBC)

He says two of them were found near the locomotive, which landed in the Kicking Horse River, and the other was still inside.

The three victims are believed to be a locomotive engineer, a conductor, and a conductor trainee based out of Calgary.

British Columbia’s Environment Ministry confirmed between 30 and 40 grain cars went off the tracks and there was no immediate word of fuel or other contaminants entering the water. 

CP said there was no threat to public safety and there were no dangerous goods involved.

« Our condolences and prayers go out to their families, friends and colleagues, » the Calgary-based company said.

« A full investigation will take place to determine the cause of this incident. »

Previous derailment, same area

Transportation Safety Board (TSB) investigators were headed to the site of the incident on Monday morning, the agency said in a release.

Eric Collard, a TSB spokesperson, said the site is remote, with access only possible by rail. « So you can’t get to it by road. »

The safety board has not yet released any further information.

« Our hearts and our deepest condolences go out to the victims’ loved ones and co-workers, » François Laporte, president of Teamsters Canada, said in a release. « Our union and its 125,000 members stand with them in mourning, »

Field is about 80 kilometres west of Banff along the Trans-Canada Highway.

The train derailed near the mountainous border with Alberta. (CBC)

Sixteen cars of a CP train derailed on Jan. 3 in the same area, which is near the Upper Spiral Tunnels, close to Cathedral Mountain, between Field and Lake Louise, Alta.

No one was hurt in that derailment.

Teamsters Canada says eight railway workers have died in accidents in Canada since November 2017.

« Today, our focus is on this accident as well as the victims’ friends and families. But moving forward, the government and the rail industry will have to recognize that something is wrong and change is needed. Eight workplace fatalities in a little over a year is not something that should be expected or accepted, » Lyndon Isaak, president of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), said in a release.


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Crews prepare to move tower as tall as CFL football field out of Edmonton – Edmonton


A big move will soon be taking place on the streets of Edmonton, as one of the largest loads in the province’s history begins its journey to a destination north of the city.

Inter Pipeline has built a tower that is 97 metres high at Dacro Industries on 51 Avenue; to put it into context, a CFL football field is 100 metres long.

The company said the tower weighs approximately 800 tonnes, roughly five times the weight of the Statue of Liberty.

The tower, which is made primarily from carbon steel and took one year to manufacture, will be moving this week to the Heartland Petrochemical Complex, which is currently being built outside Fort Saskatchewan.

In a press release, Inter Pipeline said the tower will be used to turn propane into recyclable plastic pellets, which will then be used to make items such as computers, medical equipment and food storage containers.

The $3.5-billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex will be completed in 2021.

Company officials declined to speak Sunday, instead saying they will hold a media availability about the tower on Thursday.

READ MORE: Inter Pipeline green-lights $3.5B petrochemical project to produce plastic

The province picked Inter Pipeline’s project a year ago to receive up to $200 million in royalty credits. Pembina Pipeline, also headquartered in Calgary, is to receive $300 million in credits for a similar project in the same area if it decides to proceed.

READ MORE: Alberta chooses 2 petrochemical plants for $500M in royalty credits

The credits, to be paid out after the facilities are operating, can’t be used directly by the petrochemical facilities, but they can be sold to oil or natural gas producers to reduce their provincial royalty payments.

The provincial Minister of Transportation, Brian Mason, is holding a news conference about the tower Sunday afternoon.

more to come…

with files from Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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In the quest to build a better battery, a Canadian is energizing the field


He’s become a kind of rock star in a field where most people spend their careers working far from the limelight.

Canadian Don Sadoway, a professor of materials chemistry at MIT, has captured the attention of the world with his quest to build a better battery.

In the hallway outside his office, high-profile accolades abound.

Pinned to a bulletin board is a shout-out from Bill Gates.

A Time magazine cover story names him one of the 100 most influential people on the planet.

Sadoway’s battery uses liquid metals and molten salt. (Paul Hunter/CBC)

There are freeze-frames from Sadoway’s appearance on U.S. late-night news satire show The Colbert Report in 2012.

Because Sadoway’s invention, now in the final stages of development, isn’t just any battery.

It’s powerful enough to provide electricity for a whole neighbourhood and it can easily be scaled up into something even bigger and more powerful.

As the world presses ahead toward using more clean energy, such a battery is seen as critical to widespread adaptation of wind and solar power generation.

« This is not in the would-be-nice category, this is in the must-have category, » says the Toronto-born Sadoway.

Use it or lose it

Sadoway tackled a problem that has bedevilled battery experts for generations.

As he puts it: « You have to be able to draw electricity from the sun even when the sun doesn’t shine. And if you can’t do that, then solar power is not the answer. »

Likewise, accessing wind energy on a still day.

Generally speaking, electricity must be used as soon as it is produced, be it from coal-fired power plants or wind turbines.

Use it or lose it.

While the world has long had batteries that can store power in small amounts (think rechargeable laptops, cellphones and, increasingly, automobiles) the challenge has always been how to achieve that on a large scale — or, as it’s known in professional circles — grid level.

To date, attempts at grid-level batteries have run into myriad difficulties: They degrade too quickly, cost too much and have been prone to overheating.

Experts around the world, including billionaire Elon Musk, have for years been pushing the envelope when it comes to battery technology. Mostly they’ve been working hard to improve the world’s current battery of choice, the lithium-ion.

But Sadoway’s invention is radically different from anything else in the market: It uses liquid metals and molten salt.

David Bradwell, from Toronto, is co-inventor of the battery. He was one of Sadoway’s students and is now the chief technology officer of Sadoway’s development company that’s trying to bring the battery to market. (Jean-François Benoît/CBC)

Not only can it be easily constructed almost anywhere on Earth, but unlike most existing rechargeable batteries, it’s built to last a very long time. It’s shown to be cost-effective, reliable and safe. It never overheats, catches fire or explodes.

If a battery doesn’t check all of those boxes, the world won’t line up for it, Sadoway says.

« None of us has a 10-year-old lithium-ion battery, » he says. « For grid-scale storage, these batteries are going to have to last decades. We can’t be swapping them out every three to five years — that’s unacceptable. »

Testing and retesting

A prototype of Sadoway’s battery, 10 years in the making, now sits at a manufacturing and development plant in Marlborough, Mass. It’s roughly the size and shape of a corrugated steel shipping container.

A small team of employees is busy every day testing and retesting for durability.

By design the unit is modular. It can be made larger — and more powerful — simply by stacking another one on top of it.

Sadoway’s development company, Ambri, hopes to have the battery on the market within three years.  

Its chief technology officer is one of Sadoway’s former students, David Bradwell, who, as it turns out, also grew up in Toronto.

He graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., before moving to MIT, where he helped finesse Sadoway’s battery idea and is now listed as its co-inventor.

In 2012, Time magazine named Sadoway one of the 100 most influential people on the planet. (Paul Hunter/CBC)

« [It’s a project] we believe will change the world, » says Bradwell.

He emphasizes the link between grid-level batteries and fighting climate change with clean energy.

Making wind and solar power available for everyone at the flip of a switch, 24-7, says Bradwell, « It’s the missing link for renewables.

« It’s absolutely the key to making it all work. »

‘Service of society’

While both Bradwell and Sadoway are confident in their creation, the challenge they face is proving that it all works perfectly.

They’re getting there.

Microsoft’s Gates is not only a fan of Sadoway’s but also a key investor.  

So is French energy giant Total S.A.

It’s tacit recognition that Ambri’s onto something.

And that whoever wins the race to build a better battery will indeed make history.

Sadoway thinks his work can make the planet a better place.

« It is science and service of society, » he says. « And maybe that’s the Canadian piece. »


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Plane crashes into field after mid-air collision in Ottawa’s west end


Two aircraft collided in mid-air in Ottawa‘s west end on Sunday morning, with one of them crashing into a nearby field, Ottawa police said.

Police said one of the aircraft crashed into a field near McGee Side Road just east of the 417. The other aircraft was redirected to Ottawa International Airport and safely landed there.

READ MORE: Pilot seriously injured after small plane crashes in Ottawa’s west end

Paramedics are on the scene, and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating.

No details about injuries were immediately available.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Founder of Calgary’s Field of Crosses awarded honorary degree – Calgary


The Field of Crosses is a big part of observing Remembrance Day for thousands of Calgarians, and now the man who founded it 10 years ago has been recognized for his work on the project.

Philanthropist Murray McCann received an honorary degree Friday, during a convocation ceremony at Mount Royal University.

“I was really overwhelmed with the honour,” McCann said. “Just humbled.”

The Field of Crosses contains more than 3,400 crosses, each representing a southern Albertan who died serving Canada.

‘Absolutely amazing’: Calgary volunteers prepare Field of Crosses for Remembrance Day

McCann wanted to create a place where Calgarians could pay tribute to the fallen, and his foundation has supported the event every year for the last decade.

“I’ve had a good life, because of freedoms I’ve had in this country,” McCann said.

“People gave up their lives so that I could live this life.”

MRU awarded McCann an honorary bachelor of nursing degree.

“(That degree) is extra special to me, because my late wife of 38 years and mother of my five children was a registered nurse,” McCann said in a statement issued by the university.

Susan Schalin, who’s worked alongside McCann on the Field of Crosses from the start, said he’s definitely earned his honorary degree.

“It’s well-deserved,” Schalin said. “Murray has been–over the years–so involved with philanthropy, and has done so much behind the scenes without recognition.”

McCann said it’s especially rewarding to see many school groups visiting the crosses.

Participating in Calgary’s Field of Crosses ceremonies an honour for students

“It’s sure given me great confidence in the future,” he said. “What a great country.”

The Field of Crosses is open through Remembrance Day on Memorial Drive across from downtown Calgary.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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