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Tag Archives: National Transportation Safety Board

Report: Human error, defects cause most railway incidents

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dozens of crude oil-carrying train derailments in recent years have prompted federal regulators to focus on improving the safety of tanker cars, though a newspaper’s analysis of federal records show that track defects and human error are to blame for most incidents. Trains carrying Bakken crude — a type of highly volatile oil — have made safety ...

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First responders often unprepared for derailments

Emergency personnel examine the wreckage of a train derailment near Vandergrift, Pennsylvania February 13, 2014. A 120-car Norfolk Southern Corp train carrying heavy Canadian crude oil derailed and spilled in western Pennsylvania on Thursday, adding to a string of recent accidents that have prompted calls for stronger safety standards. There were no reports of injury or fire after 21 tank cars came off the track at a bend by the Kiskiminetas River in the town of Vandergrift, according to town and company officials. REUTERS/Jason Cohn (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENERGY TRANSPORT)

Amid the sounds of wrenching metal and crackling fire, the hissing whine signaled that one of the overturned tank cars was doing its job. Flames licked the tanker just outside the state fairgrounds on July 11, 2012. Thousands of gallons of ethanol heated up inside the car. As pressure mounted, the intense heat weakened its shell, less than an inch ...

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Exclusive – Safety deadline may exempt U.S. railroads from freight obligations

WASHINGTON – U.S. railroads may not be obligated under federal law to carry freight including crude oil and hazardous materials from Jan. 1 if they fail to meet a year-end deadline for implementing new train safety technology, according to a top federal regulator. In a Sept. 3 letter to the Senate Commerce Committee, U.S. Surface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel Elliott ...

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Using bad tank cars? Then pay a fee, Brown proposes

Sen. Sherrod Brown wants shippers using tank cars that have been linked to fiery train derailments to pay fees that would be used to reroute train tracks, train first responders and clean up spills. Brown has proposed fees that start at $175 per car for those using the DOT-111, a tank car that federal regulators have warned hazardous-material shippers against ...

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Federal agency dings Shell for oil rig mishap in Arctic

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — As Royal Dutch Shell PLC seeks permits for exploratory oil drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast, a federal agency has concluded the company underestimated risk the last time it moved drill rigs to Arctic waters. A National Transportation Safety Board report issued Thursday said the probable cause of the grounding of the company’s mobile drilling vessel, the Kulluk, ...

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U.S. safety watchdog’s oil train plan ‘infeasible’ – refiners

WASHINGTON – The leading voice for the refining sector on Thursday said it was not realistic for U.S. regulators to expect existing oil train tankers to be retired within five years, and sought a meeting with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). “The emphasis on tank car modifications through an overly aggressive and infeasible retrofit schedule creates the incorrect perception ...

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Investigators release records of fiery Casselton derailment

Federal investigators have released hundreds of pages of records that offer new insight into the moments just before and after a 2013 oil train derailment near Casselton, North Dakota, that created a massive fire and forced 1,400 people to evacuate for several days. Interviews with the BNSF Railway workers operating the two trains in the derailment are included in documents ...

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Rail car safety concerns SJ officials

oil transport

Calls for improved railroad tank car safety, following a string of derailments and explosive fires involving flammable liquids such as crude oil and ethanol, could help protect residents of San Joaquin County where hundreds of such tank cars move each month. Area government and railroad officials agree safer tank cars are needed but also say they are working to limit ...

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