Train hits bear in Maple Ridge

Bear was walking on the train tracks in Ruskin in Maple Ridge

A West Coast Express train hit a bear that was on the track early Friday while travelling through Maple Ridge.

The first West Coast Express train out of Mission station hit a bear en route to Vancouver Friday morning.

The 5:25 a.m. train struck the bruin in Ruskin, a sparsely populated area in east Maple Ridge just past Mission.

The train tried to stop in time but was unable to.

“As far as we know the bear is dead,” said Drew Snider with TransLink.

To stop the train, the engineer hit the emergency breaks which let all the air out of the system.

It took time for the system to reset which caused a half-hour delay for passengers travelling into downtown Vancouver.

The second West Coast Express train went around train one and was able to stay on schedule.

“To our knowledge, it is the first time the West Coast Express has hit a bear anywhere on the tracks in its 16 year history,” Snider added.

West Coast Express is commuter rail service linking Mission, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody with downtown Vancouver.

It operates ten trains and five TrainBuses per day, Monday to Friday.

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