August 31, 2016

State inspectors take on rail safety program

Both inspectors for a state rail safety program — aimed to prevent such fiery derailments involving crude oil as happened this year near Weimdal, N.D. — have been hired and are training with federal inspectors. In July, an agreement was approved by the Public Service Commission with the Federal Railroad Administration to begin a pilot rail safety […]

ND crude train service resumes but questions remain

Bakken Shale crude oil shipments via train have resumed in North Dakota, but there remain unanswered questions about what caused 10 tanker cars to derail and ignite in Heimdal, ND, earlier this month. A spokesperson for BNSF, the railroad involved in the derailment, told NGI‘s Shale Daily on Tuesday that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to […]

N.D. lawmakers approve rail safety pilot program

BISMARCK, N.D. – North Dakota lawmakers agreed Monday to spend more than $500,000 on a rail safety pilot program proposed in the wake of a fiery oil train derailment near Casselton in 2013, with some saying it doesn’t go far enough. Lawmakers adopted a scaled-down version of a program proposed by the Public Service Commission […]

N.D. considers rules to make oil by rail safer

North Dakota’s energy regulators are considering new rules to make the state’s “Bakken” crude oil, which has been involved in a number of explosive train crashes, safer to move by rail. Proposed standards announced Thursday by the state Department of Mineral Resources follow a series of fiery rail accidents over the last 18 months that […]

North Dakota locals holding meetings in April

North Dakota locals will hold their annual Spring Swing meetings April 23-25, State Legislative Director James M. Chase reports. These meetings provide an excellent opportunity to learn about your benefits as a member and to visit with SMART Transportation Division officers, general chairpersons and representatives from UTUIA, the Railroad Retirement Board, designated legal counsel and health-and-welfare […]

SLD Chase: N.D. depends on safe rail service

Jim Chase, North Dakota State Legislative Director of the SMART Transportation Division, submitted the following letter to the editor of The Bismarck Tribune. It was published Feb. 28, 2014. Since the 1880s, North Dakota’s railroads have played an essential role in developing our state and our economy. Today’s railroads continue to provide vital passenger service […]

Broken axle found at scene of N.D. derailment

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal investigators said Wednesday they have recovered a broken axle at the scene of an oil train derailment and fire in southeastern North Dakota but don’t know yet whether it caused the wreck. “We’ll want to know if it was the actual cause of the derailment, or was it broken during […]