The Prince Albert Fire Department responded to an unusual call on Thursday morning when a woman sleeping in between the rails of a train track near Superstore had a train come to rest on top of her.
Deputy Chief Alex Paul said it was a matter of inches between the bottom of the train engine and the woman. If the train had gone much farther it could have been fatal.
“The train coming along, at the last minute realized that it was a person on the tracks and they applied the emergency brake,” Deputy Chief Paul said. “The locomotive came to a stop just a little bit over the top of the person, so there was no actual contact between the train and the person.”
Paul said fire crews were able to free the woman from under the train and EMS transported her to hospital with only minor injuries, likely unrelated to the train.
While the tracks are private property and marked with no trespassing signs, Paul said it’s still common for people to take shortcuts through the rail yard.
“It’s not that common to have people that are injured on the tracks or hit by trains, but it is common knowledge that people use the rail yard as a cut-through from one area of the city to another,” he said.
“Obviously we would recommend that people do not cross through the rail yard. It is private property, and it’s never safe to be walking near train tracks. You never know where a train may come, and there’s multiple tracks side by side.”
According to data from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, there were 39 trespasser fatalities in 2020.
The tracks are operated by Carlton Trail Railways.