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Tag Archives: train derailments

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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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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New standards for crude oil transportation in ND

tank cars

On Nov. 13 North Dakota plans to instate new laws regarding the treatment of crude oil that is transported out of the state, according to an article recently published on Reuters.com. Recent controversy surrounding the topic has caused legislatures to ‘lean away’ from requiring the conditioning of crude at the well site. However, the removal of volatile components will be ...

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Bakken crude-by-rail safety still an issue


Lydia Gilbertson | Shale Plays Media Salon.com recently posted a detailed exposé on oil-train regulation specifically relating to Bakken crude oil. They critically analyze the Lac-Mégantic disaster of 2013 as well as the Casselton train derailment at the beginning of this year.  They interview various chemists and oil volatility specialists who claim there is a more explosive property to Bakken crude ...

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Rail Town Residents Fear Impacts Of Increased Oil Train Traffic


By Joshua Schneyer, Rory Carroll and Richard Valdmanis May 25 (Reuters) – Albany, New York Sheriff Craig Apple assured a room of concerned citizens that county emergency crews were prepared to handle an oil-train accident involving three or four tank cars. Firefighters have been training to combat railcar fires with foam, and evacuation plans are detailed in a 500-page emergency ...

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Feds issue emergency order on crude oil trains

crude by rail

JOAN LOWY, Associated Press WASHINGTON — The Transportation Department issued an emergency order Wednesday requiring that railroads inform state emergency management officials about the movement of large shipments of crude oil through their states and urged shippers not to use older model tanks cars that are easily ruptured in accidents, even at slow speeds. The emergency order requires that each ...

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Study could help Minn. benefit from N.D. oil

By MIKE CRONIN Associated Press ST. PAUL, Minn. — A proposed $150,000 study would examine how Minnesota could leverage the North Dakota oil boom for its own benefit. The research would not focus “just on the effects (of the boom), but also how we can possibly benefit and position ourselves to take advantage of that,” said Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin ...

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Railroads commit to slower speeds on oil shipments through cities


By: Kyle Potter, INFORUM WASHINGTON – Many oil-by-rail shipments will slow down through urban areas and track inspections will increase on high-traffic areas in response to a string of fiery derailments in the last several months, the American Association of Railroads said on Friday. The rail industry agreed to the voluntary measures in consultation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, which ...

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High-tech railroad device to inspect tracks around Casselton


By: Kyle Potter, INFORUM WASHINGTON – Federal railroad regulators will send a special device to inspect track around Casselton, where four trains have derailed in less than a decade. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., announced in a news release Wednesday that the Automated Track Inspection Program, a fleet of cars that survey tracks for flaws, would deploy to Casselton. Heitkamp pressed the ...

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Report on rail risks boosts Keystone XL

keystone xl

4 hours ago  •  MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press WASHINGTON — A government warning about the dangers of increased use of trains to transport crude oil is giving a boost to supporters of the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline. U.S. and Canadian accident investigators urged their governments Thursday to impose new safety rules on so-called oil trains, warning that a “major loss of life” ...

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