November 28, 2015

Bill aims to upgrade safety for materials sent by rail


A push for stiffer hazardous chemical rail transportation standards was made Wednesday, Sept. 2 near the site of a train accident that caused the largest evacuation in Ohio history. Local officials — recalling the 1986 Miamisburg train derailment — joined Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, as he stressed the need to pass a bill that would [...]

Rules on oil train safety not moving fast enough


A chorus of lawmakers expressed frustration Tuesday with the delays in approving and implementing various regulations related to the movement of hazardous materials by rail and pipeline. The acting chiefs of two U.S. Department of Transportation agencies heard Republicans and Democrats in the House Transportation Committee complain that rules on railroad tank cars and 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 [...]

Report: Hazardous chemicals not on trains’ cargo lists


At least 18 times in the past three years BNSF Railway freight trains rolled west out of Minneapolis pulling cars filled with hazardous chemicals that were not on the train’s official cargo list, according to train crew complaints. That’s contrary to federal regulation because in case of an accident, local firefighters can be left in [...]

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 [...]

Full Disclosure: What’s in those rail cars?

railyard, train yard; trains

On a dead-end street in St. Paul, Susan Juaire runs a home day care with a scenic overlook of boxcars, locomotives and railroad tracks. Though she doesn’t like it, Juaire has gotten used to the constant noise of shipping containers being loaded between trucks and trains. She can’t say the same thing about the long [...]

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 [...]

UTU seeks worker protection from hazmat

WASHINGTON — A doubling in the number of damaged or leaking hazardous materials containers shipped by rail has prompted the UTU and six other rail labor organizations to petition the Federal Railroad Administration for enhanced safety standards to protect rail workers and the public. Rail labor is concerned that the FRA routinely grants special permission [...]