September 21, 2014

Rules could settle tank car dispute


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


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


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 [...]

NTSB to hold forum on crude oil, ethanol by rail


The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a two-day public forum next month on the safety of moving crude oil and ethanol by rail, the agency said Thursday. The NTSB has been warning for years that a common type of railroad tank car, known as the DOT-111, was not suitable for transporting flammable liquids and [...]

Canada reports crude oil as explosive as gas


TORONTO — The crude oil that exploded during a fatal derailment in Quebec last year that killed 47 people had characteristics similar to that of unleaded gasoline, a highly flammable liquid, Canada’s transportation safety agency said Thursday. The Transportation Safety Board said in a newly released report that the crude tested by Canada’s transportation agency [...]

Warren Buffett pushes for stronger rail cars for oil


Warren Buffett, the Omaha billionaire who four years ago bought the nation’s second-biggest railroad, said Monday that rail tank cars need to be upgraded to safely transport the surging production of oil from North Dakota and Texas. “It’s fair to say that we’ve found in [the] last year or so that it’s more dangerous to [...]

DOT-111 rail tank cars called ‘unacceptable’


WASHINGTON – Rail tank cars being used to ship crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region are an “unacceptable public risk,” and even cars voluntarily upgraded by the industry may not be sufficient, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday. The cars, known as DOT-111s, were involved in derailments of oil trains [...]

Feds issue emergency order on oil shipments


Federal regulators issued an emergency order Tuesday requiring more stringent testing of crude oil before shipment by rail to determine how susceptible the cargo is to explosion or fire, a response to a string of train accidents since last summer involving oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana. The order also would [...]

Oil-train boom launches N.Y. environmental battle


A previously quiet increase in the amount oil moving through Albany by train is escalating into a rather loud controversy. One reliable sign: A meeting at an elementary school on Feb. 12 about the volume of North Dakota crude moving through the capital drew a crowd of hundreds to protest and ask questions. Read the [...]