Almost 300 passengers on a train traveling between two Quebec communities were stranded in Western Labrador Friday afternoon after the train encountered electrical problems.
According to a Canadian Red Cross news release, a train operated by Tshiuetin Rail Transportation stopped in bitterly cold weather at Emeril Junction. Passengers from Labrador City and Wabush typically leave the train at that stop to drive to their homes 65 kilometres away. The train was traveling between Schefferville and Sept-Îles.
After multiple attempts to restart the train failed, the decision was made to evacuate the 270 passengers and seven crewmembers. The were huddled together for hours and sharing blankets to stay warm in -30 C conditions.
They were eventually taken to Menihek High School in Labrador City. Some spent the night in mining camp bunk houses in the community, while others were bussed to similar accommodations in Fermont, Quebec. Some people were taken to hospital, but there were no reports of injuries as of early Saturday morning.
The railway operator arranged for flights to Sept-Îles — the train’s final destination — throughout the day on Saturday.
Canadian Red Cross volunteers were present at the school to help arrange emergency lodging, as were volunteers and officials from other community groups.