September 1, 2014

Shipments of crude by rail to increase in Calif.

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SAN FRANCISCO – Shipments of crude by rail into California are expected to increase 25-fold in the next two years. With derailments and explosions on the rise in other parts of the country you would think the state is making extra sure that the railroads here are in good condition. But as KPIX5 found out, [...]

Minn. lawmaker wants new oil train safety rules

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minnesota legislator wants Congress to put teeth into requirements for railroads moving hazardous content tank cars. State Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis) is chair of the Transportation Committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration issued a safety advisory earlier in May urging shippers [...]

Senators push crude oil safety training for shortlines

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WASHINGTON – America’s smaller railroads lack the capability to offer safety training in the shipment of crude oil and ethanol, and two top Senate appropriators asked federal regulators Thursday to fund those efforts. Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, wrote Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx requesting the creation of the Short Line Safety Institute [...]

Editorial: Time to get serious about oil-by-rail safety

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Nobody would reasonably expect you to put up with a bomb in your backyard. Yet every day, car after car of oil travels on railroads just steps away from people, homes and businesses, putting them at risk of explosions caused by unsafe oil tanker cars. This is increasingly true in Wyoming, where local and regional [...]

Train carrying oil derails in Virginia in fiery blast

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A CSX Corp. train carrying crude oil derailed and burst into flames in downtown Lynchburg, Va., on Wednesday (April 30), spilling oil into the James River and forcing hundreds to evacuate. CSX said 15 cars on a train traveling from Chicago to Virginia derailed at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Fire erupted on three cars, the company [...]

Bakken oil fields mark billionth barrel of oil

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BISMARCK, N.D. – Oil drillers targeting the rich Bakken shale formation in western North Dakota and eastern Montana have produced 1 billion barrels of crude, data from the two states show. Drillers first targeted the Bakken in Montana in 2000 and moved into North Dakota about five years later using advanced horizontal drilling and hydraulic [...]

Rules could settle tank car dispute

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New rules on moving hazardous materials like crude oil on U.S. railroads could settle a dispute between the energy industry and rail companies that boils down to a fraction of an inch of steel in the frame of each tank car. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wrote Thursday in a blog post that his agency [...]

Hazardous cargo rides rails in secret

Jodi Ross, town manager in Westford, Mass., did not expect she would be threatened with arrest after she and her fire chief went onto the railroad tracks to find out why a train carrying liquid petroleum gas derailed on a bridge in February. But as they reached the accident site northwest of Boston, a manager [...]

DOT’s Foxx urges safer rail tank cars

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday asked oil-by-rail leaders to create a tank car fit to carry the kinds of fuel involved in recent fiery derailments even as he dodged lawmaker questions about when such a plan would be ready. Rail shipments of oil have been on the rise in regions that [...]

BNSF crude cars spur $5 billion safety spat

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A push by Warren Buffett’s railroad to boost oil-shipment safety is meeting resistance from Hess Corp. and other companies that say the plan would mean a surge in costs and force them to scrap thousands of tank cars. A series of accidents including a Quebec crash that killed 47 spurred Buffett’s BNSF Railway Co. along [...]