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Low oil prices a bonus for Minnesota railroad regulators

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota railroad regulatory official says lower oil prices have caused train traffic from North Dakota to level off. That’s given Minnesota officials space to work on safety issues.

About seven trains haul crude from the Bakken oilfields through Minnesota daily. Dave Christianson from the Minnesota Department of Transportation says he expects that traffic to stay level as long as oil prices stay down.

Christianson calls it “breathing room” to address safety concerns. He and other railroad experts addressed a House transportation committee Wednesday.

The state is working on plans to improve railroad crossings across Minnesota. Transportation officials are also considering adding a fourth railroad inspector.

A recent study found many Minnesota firefighters and first responders aren’t prepared to handle an oil accident.

In related news, Rail companies play down role of crude oil shipments.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.