March 3, 2015

Fuel-hauling trains could derail at 10 per year

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The federal government predicts that trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times a year over the next two decades, causing more than $4 billion in damage and possibly killing hundreds of people if an accident happens in a densely populated part of the U.S. The projection comes from a [...]

KCS announces Patrick J. Ottensmeyer as president

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Kansas City Southern announced Feb. 20 that as part of its succession planning process, Patrick J. Ottensmeyer has been appointed president, effective March 1, 2015. He will continue to report to David L. Starling, who remains chief executive officer. Ottensmeyer is currently the company’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. In his new role, [...]

W. Va. oil-train fireball adding pressure for safety rule

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Video images of a fireball billowing from the wreckage of a derailed train hauling Bakken crude are adding to pressure on federal regulators to act on new safety standards for oil shipments. While there were no fatalities in the CSX Corp. accident in rural West Virginia on Feb. 16, the footage of flames and smoke [...]

America needs to invest in railroad tracks

Two major train derailments, one in West Virginia and one in Northern Ontario, have once again put oil transport by rail in the national spotlight in the United States. The derailment of the train hauling crude oil in West Virginia resulted in at least 14 cars bursting into flames. As a result, two towns near [...]

Tankers in W. Va. explosion were newer, safer model

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The railroad cars involved in the fiery derailment in West Virginia on Monday were a newer model that was supposed to be safer than older tankers blamed in other recent oil train explosions. The ruptured cars were built to specifications adopted by the railroad industry in 2011 amid criticism that older tankers were dangerously susceptible [...]

W. Va. train derailment sends oil tanker into river

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MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. – Fires burned for hours after a train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm in West Virginia, sending a fireball into the sky and threatening the water supply of nearby residents, authorities and residents said Tuesday. Officials evacuated hundreds of families and shut down two water [...]

Canada readies back-to-work legislation on CP strike

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Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. began operating a reduced freight schedule run by its managers on Feb. 15, after talks on a new contract broke down and more than 3,000 train engineers and conductors walked off the job. Canada’s No. 2 railway and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference failed to agree on terms including on scheduling [...]

Town Hall meeting scheduled on Anthem cyber attack

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Last week, Anthem informed us that their company was the target of a sophisticated cyber attack. This resulted in unauthorized access to its members’ personal information. The investigation into the security breach is ongoing. We know many of you want information and have questions about this attack. To review what Anthem knows and share with [...]

Nebraskans favor two-person rail crews, poll shows

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LINCOLN, Neb. – A union that represents railroaders says its recent survey of Nebraskans shows that more than 80 percent support requiring two-person crews on freight trains. “Because of the potential catastrophic tragedy that would result from a train accident of any nature, having two sets of eyes is a minimum safety requirement,” said Bob [...]

House committee approves Amtrak funding legislation

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The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Feb. 12 unanimously approved bipartisan legislation that improves the infrastructure, reduces costs, creates greater accountability and transparency, leverages private sector resources, and accelerates project delivery for Amtrak and the nation’s passenger rail transportation system. The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, or PRRIA (H.R. 749), was introduced by [...]