May 29, 2016

Activists blocking tracks convicted of trespassing

The Seattle Times reported that the five activists who blocked BNSF tracks in Washington during September 2014 were recently convicted of trespassing. Read the entire article here.

N.Y. tells PHMSA to close oil train safety loophole

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has called on the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to limit the vapor pressure of crude oil shipped by rail. In a petition for rulemaking, Schneiderman asked the agency to require all crude transported by rail in the United States to achieve a vapor pressure of […]

Ethanol returning to U.S. rails

Sinking lease rates, weak crude prices and tough new safety measures for transporting oil by rail have spurred a resurgence in hauling ethanol on the U.S. rail network, as some train companies convert tank cars to carry more corn-based biofuels. The trend emerged in the past six months and marks a shift in a years-long […]

Oil train safety must remain a priority

MINNESOTA – Lack of action during this year’s legislative session doesn’t mean nothing’s being done regarding rail safety as oil trains keep passing through the state and region. About 3,000 firefighters and other emergency responders from 80 departments throughout the state have been trained to respond quickly to oil-train-related disasters, and the Minnesota Pollution Control […]

Latest tank car, rail inspections turn up 62 defects

Another round of targeted tank car and rail inspections in New York found 62 defects, including one “critical” safety defect that required immediate corrective action, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The inspections are part of the governor’s efforts to address the safety of crude-by-rail shipments. State and federal teams examined 524 tank cars and […]

BNSF charging lower rates for new crude-by-rail cars

If you want to carry crude oil in an older railroad car, it’s going to cost you. Fort Worth-based BNSF Railway, the largest U.S. crude-by-rail carrier, is offering lower rates to lug oil in cars that meet the latest federal specifications issued in May. That means the vast majority of cars riding the rails today, […]

N.J. Senate prepares for crude oil rail disaster

Trenton, N.J. – While admitting that their hands are largely tied, New Jersey lawmakers on Monday, June 15, took steps to better prepare the state in the event of a catastrophic oil train accident. “There is not a whole lot we can do to regulate rails going through our area because they are primarily regulated by […]

Emergency order sought from Foxx after derailment

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) are on the scene today of a BNSF Railway Co. crude-oil train that derailed and caught fire yesterday morning in Heimdal, N.D. The BNSF train consisted of 109 total cars, 107 of which were loaded with crude oil. Two buffer cars were loaded with […]

‘Bomb train’ derails in ND, village evacuated

A train carrying crude oil through Wells County, North Dakota derailed May 6. At least six rail cars have caught fire, sending thick, black plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. The village of Heimdal and nearby farms were evacuated. The BNSF Railway oil tanker derailed around 7:30 a.m. local time, Wells County Emergency Manager […]

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 […]