Train carrying 200 evacuees from Hope, BC arrives in Vancouver
A train carrying approximately 200 people who were stranded in Hope, BC, pulled into Vancouver’s Pacific Centra Station early Thursday morning.
The rescue operation was organized by Canadian National Railway (CN), Via Rail, and Emergency Management BC.
A Via Rail spokesperson said the provincial government reached out to them looking for a passenger train to carry the evacuees along CN’s railway line.
“On behalf of everyone at VIA Rail and CN, we offer a heartfelt thank you to the employees who planned this operation and supported the evacuees who have gone through a very difficult time over the past few days,” the Via Rail spokesperson said.
The 6,000-person community of Hope took in about a sixth of its population this week as highway washouts and mudslides cut off all roads leading to the town. Approximately 1,200 stranded travellers slept at the local high school, at a church, or in their cars.
Highway 7, which connects Hope to the Lower Mainland via Agassiz, opened for one lane of travel Wednesday evening to let trapped drivers head back to Metro Vancouver. Once the stranded individuals are through, the highway will be closed again for more repair work.
Via Rail said no additional rescue trips are planned right now, but it’s willing to help again if asked.
“We are truly proud to have been able to offer our assistance during this emergency.”