October 21, 2014

Report: Hazardous chemicals not on trains’ cargo lists

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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 [...]

Conductor hospitalized for possible hazmat contact

BRYAN COUNTY, Okla. — A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train conductor was taken to Texoma Medical Center in Denison early Wednesday morning after he possibly came in contact with hazardous materials. Emergency crews responded to the train tracks just north of Platter Road around 3 a.m. A BNSF railroad conductor was inspecting a rail car when he [...]

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 [...]

Rail hazmat emergency response programs offered

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The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program announces three HazMat/Chemical Emergency Response Training Programs will be held this spring in Houston, Texas. These programs address U.S. Department of Transportation and the Occupational Health and safety Administration required training in addition to procedures, levels of response and worker protection in a hazardous materials emergency or release, [...]

Agencies set public meeting on rail hazmat

The Federal Railroad Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will host a public meeting Aug. 27-28 in Washington, D.C., about the transportation of hazardous materials by rail. The two DOT agencies want to hear from stakeholders because they have begun a review of operational factors that affect the safe transportation of [...]

NLC offers ‘train-the-trainer’ hazmat course

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The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program prides itself on delivering the most valuable worker safety training available. Peer instructors are members of the railroad labor community and take pride in offering the latest and most up-to-date information, teaching techniques and peer support. The goal of the rail program is to build a nationwide pool [...]

Rails invited to radiological training program

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The U.S. Department of Energy has shipped large amounts and varieties of radioactive material by rail for years and the number of rail shipments is expected to increase. With this rise in shipments comes the increased risk for rail incidents involving these materials. The Rail Workers’ Hazmat Training Program has been awarded funding to provide [...]

Hazmat train-the-trainer programs scheduled

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The National Labor College in Silver Spring, Md., has scheduled several hazardous materials train-the-trainer programs to help build a nationwide pool of peer instructors. Funded by the Department of Transportation, the train-the-trainer courses provide regional peer trainers with the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver this awareness level hazmat training at their job-sites, union meetings [...]

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 [...]