Sunday, December 14, 2014

Crude-by-rail Rolls on as Safety Concerns Increase and Towns Not Prepared

EVERETT —The parade of flat-black tank cars began arriving here less than two years ago.

Now the crude oil trains are a familiar sight — and a source of anxiety for many people along the route.

Every week, up to a dozen such trains skirt Puget Sound, each hauling more than 1 million gallons of Bakken crude from North Dakota and Montana. They pass erosion-prone coastal bluffs, then travel through the downtowns of Edmonds, Mukilteo, Everett, Marysville and Stanwood. They take the highly flammable fuel from fields in North Dakota to refineries in Skagit and Whatcom counties....

...“We think the likelihood of a derailment and fire in our town is high and we'd like to see more preparation for dealing with that, to the point where people are instructed on evacuation and perhaps practice an evacuation,” said Dean Smith, of Everett, who started the Snohomish County Train Watch group....   read more here

The US Is Expanding Crude Oil Rail Transport Even As Towns Say They're Not Prepared To Handle Spills

Jarrett Renshaw   Business Insider Australia  12/14/14

NEW YORK (Reuters) – For the past 18 months, Americans from Albany to Oregon have voiced growing alarm over the rising number of oil-laden freight trains coursing through their cities, a trend they fear is endangering public safety.

In at least a handful of places, the public is also helping fund it.

States and the federal government have handed out tens of millions in public dollars to rail companies and government agencies to expand crude oil rail transportation across the country, a Reuters analysis has found.

The public assistance in states like New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma and Oregon comes as railroads are posting record profits, and as state and federal authorities press for safety overhauls that the oil and rail industries have opposed, following several explosive derailments.

The Reuters analysis identified 10 federal and state grants either approved or pending approval, totaling $US84.2 million, that helped boost the number of rail cars carrying crude oil across the nation.

The funds are a fraction of total public funding for railroads each year....   read more here

Train derailment cleanup underway in Saskatoon

SASKATOON – Traffic was congested in Saskatoon Saturday morning around the same time a train derailment was being cleaned up. Canadian National (CN) Railway police are currently investigating a train derailment south of Saskatoon’s Montgomery Place neighbourhood.

At about 1 a.m., five grain cars went off the tracks of a private rail line near the 11th Street bypass.... read more here

Train derailment on Hwy 149 in Longview blocking traffic

UPDATED: Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 9:34pm  KETK

Texas-  Traffic is beginning to back up in Longview after several train cars derailed.

Longview Police say three trains cars were derailed at Estes Pkwy (Hwy 149) near Walmart between Longview and Lakeport.

They say no damaged was done and no injuries were reported, however lanes are being blocked. They are unsure of how long it will take to clear the lanes.....   read more here

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