CN rebuilds train trestle in 20 days after arson fire destroys previous bridge

MAYERTHORPE, Alta. – A railway trestle bridge northwest of Edmonton destroyed by a deliberately set fire has been rebuilt and train service has restarted.

Kate Fenske, spokeswoman for Canadian National (TSX:CNR), says crews worked 20 straight days to replace the bridge burned to the ground near Mayerthorpe on April 26.

Fenske said in an email Tuesday that the new bridge is made of steel and concrete.

Rail service was suspended after the fire but resumed on Sunday.

Fenske says design of the new structure began immediately after the fire and within hours materials and workers were on their way to Mayerthorpe.

Lawson Michael Schalm, who is 19, of Mayerthorpe faces 18 counts of arson following an investigation into a rash of fires, including the one on the CN bridge.

Schalm is the son of a former mayor of Mayerthorpe and joined the town’s fire department as a junior member when he was 15.

He became a full member when he turned 18.

Schalm was among the firefighters who fought the fire on the bridge.