October 5, 2015

DOT takes action on movement of energy products


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced with its agencies, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a package of targeted actions that will address some of the issues identified in recent train accidents involving crude oil and ethanol shipped by rail. The volume of crude [...]

House bill would regulate crude oil by rail


A second group of federal lawmakers has introduced legislation to regulate the transport of crude oil by rail. U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) April 15 introduced the Crude-By-Rail Safety Act (H.R. 1804), which the congressman said would set new safety and security standards to address growing concerns that current standards fail to address the threat [...]

BNSF adds new safety rules for crude oil trains


OMAHA – BNSF Railway Co. has started taking additional safety measures for crude oil shipments because of four recent high-profile derailments in the U.S. and Canada, the railroad said Monday. Under the changes, BNSF is slowing down crude oil trains to 35 mph in cities with more than 100,000 people and increasing track inspections near [...]

Sen. Franken asks FRA to reroute Minn. oil trains


WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Sen. Al Franken asked the Federal Railroad Administration to consider rerouting trains carrying volatile Bakken crude oil from North Dakota so they do not pass through Minnesota’s biggest cities. For Franken, the possibility of rerouting is an integral part of a comprehensive response to a recent rash of fiery oil [...]

BNSF faces penalty on hazmat spill reporting rules


OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington state rail safety regulators March 19 recommended BNSF Railway Company be penalized for failing to timely report multiple hazardous material spills along state railways. The Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) issued the formal complaint following a staff investigation into BNSF’s failure to report 14 releases of various hazardous materials, including crude [...]

Oil industry must join railroads to boost train safety


WASHINGTON – Rail operators are going to great lengths to prevent oil train derailments but the energy sector must do more to prevent accidents from becoming fiery disasters, the leading U.S. rail regulator said on Friday (March 13). Oil train tankers have jumped the tracks in a string of mishaps in recent months that resulted [...]

Dangerous trains, aging rails

A CSX freight train ran off the rails last month in rural Mount Carbon, W.Va. One after another, exploding rail cars sent hellish fireballs hundreds of feet into the clear winter sky. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency, and the fires burned for several days. The Feb. 16 accident was one of [...]

Ill. oil train derailment threatens Mississippi River


An oil train derailment and spill in northwest Illinois poses an “imminent and substantial danger” of contaminating the Mississippi River, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Saturday. The spill from the derailment, which occurred Thursday, also threatens the Galena River, a tributary of the Mississippi, and the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, one [...]

Train carrying crude oil derails in Illinois


A freight train loaded with crude oil derailed in northern Illinois on Thursday, bursting into flames and prompting officials to suggest that everyone with 1 mile evacuate, authorities said. The BNSF Railway train derailed around 1:05 p.m. in a rural area where the Galena River meets the Mississippi, according to company spokesman Andy Williams. The [...]

Who’s to blame for the exploding oil trains?


A week after a CSX train hauling crude oil derailed and exploded 30 miles southeast of Charleston, W. Va., on Feb. 16, its mangled, charred tank cars were still being hauled from the crash site. Of the 27 cars that derailed, 19 had been engulfed in flames. The wreckage burned for almost three days. “It’s [...]