Derailment after derailment. They just keep happening.
Over the past several years, there have been numerous derailments in North America carrying crude from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. These accidents have sparked increased calls from citizens, the rail industry and lawmakers for the federal government to increase safety regulations.
To keep up with these incidents and new safety regulations, PublicSource provides a roundup of stories every Friday.
NTSB most-wanted list
Each year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) compiles a list of things they believe the transportation sector needs to do to improve safety. This year, the NTSB stressed the importance of getting Positive Train Control (PTC) implemented as soon as possible, despite a three-year extension Congress gave to the railroad industry. The technology automatically stops or slows trains before certain types of accidents occur and could have prevented a number of railroad disasters, including the tragic May 2015 Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia that killed eight people.
Crude-by-rail shipments are way down
Federal data shows shipments of crude oil declined by more than a fifth from January to October 2015. That's partly due to coastal refineries buying more foreign oil as the production (and price) of domestic crude oil has fallen off.
Quiet rail yards
A rail yard owner in Wyoming talks about how the reduction in crude oil shipments by train has affected his business.
Crude oil trains as a potential terrorism threat
A Virginia railroad safety task force report focuses on steps the state can take to reduce the risk of potential terrorist incidents involving trains transporting hazardous materials, including crude oil.
Reach Natasha Khan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-315-0261. Follow her on Twitter @khantasha.