October 31, 2014

Grain piles up as trains move N.D. oil

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FARGO, N.D. – The furious pace of energy exploration in North Dakota is creating a crisis for farmers whose grain shipments have been held up by a vast new movement of oil by rail, leading to millions of dollars in agricultural losses and slower production for breakfast cereal giants like General Mills. The backlog is [...]

DOT: Rails lack insurance for oil train disasters

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The insurance policies that most railroads have cannot cover the costs of many crashes or derailments involving oil trains, the Department of Transportation said. New safety rules for oil trains proposed last week would not mandate higher insurance levels than the $25 million common to the industry. But a DOT analysis released along with the [...]

Railroads want to hit brakes on oil train safeguards

The railroad industry is warning the White House against some potential safety rules for trains carrying explosive crude oil, saying freight and passenger rail traffic could be disrupted for years if companies must obey 30 mph speed limits, install more sophisticated brakes and keep the trains manned at all times. The arguments, contained in documents [...]

States balk at keeping oil-train info from public

BILLINGS, Mont. — U.S. railroads forced to turn over details of their volatile crude oil shipments are asking states to sign agreements not to disclose the information. But some states are refusing, saying Thursday that the information shouldn’t be kept from the public. Federal officials last month ordered railroads to make the disclosures after a [...]

NARP says oil shipments hurting passengers

A combination of bad weather and a large number of oil shipments has been severely delaying Amtrak riders in northern Plains states – and a rail passenger advocacy group is trying to do something about it. It hasn’t been easy to be a rail passenger lately – especially if you’re traveling on Amtrak’s Empire Builder. [...]