April 20, 2011 / 3:38 PM / 7 years ago

Flooding forces CP Rail to reroute Manitoba trains

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Flooding caused by the Red River’s steady rise forced Canadian Pacific to reroute trains on one Manitoba branch line on Wednesday and to close another.

<p>An abandoned barn is seen submerged near Great Bend, North Dakota April 12, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>

The Manitoba government is building dikes across two of CP’s lines in the Red River Valley to protect the towns of Emerson and Morris against flooding from the Red and its tributaries, CP spokesman Mike LoVecchio.

The two lines connect Winnipeg with Morden, Manitoba, and with Glenwood, Minnesota. Detours are in place for the Winnipeg-Glenwood line, and will result in some service delays, LoVecchio said.

Both outages are typical of flood years and CP planned for them in advance, LoVecchio said.

Southern Manitoba rail lines are important movers of Western Canada’s grain, however, movement usually slows during the spring. The Canadian Wheat Board has already moved crops out of vulnerable areas.

Canadian National Railway also runs a line through the Red River Valley from Winnipeg to Emerson. A spokesman could not immediately say whether flooding had forced it to close.

Flooding has also forced BNSF Railway Co, the main freight carrier in North Dakota, to close branch and secondary lines. As of Tuesday, three of its lines in the state were closed, according to the railway’s website.

Reporting by Rod Nickel; editing by Peter Galloway

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