Category Archives: News

Big cities scramble to be prepared for an oil train disaster

(WHY NOT GET READY FOR A PREDICTABLE CATASTROPHE?) While railroads long have carried hazardous materials through congested urban areas, cities are now scrambling to formulate emergency plans and to train firefighters amid the latest safety threat: a 50-fold increase in crude shipments that critics say has put millions of people living or working near the… Read More »

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

(STRIKE THREATS FROM THE BOSSES?) 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… Read More »

BNSF President Greeted by Bomb Train Protestors in Chicago

(PUTTING THE BRAKES ON RUNAWAY PROFIT?) Today at the annual North American Rail Shippers Association, Carl Ice, president of rail company Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) had his keynote address interrupted by members of Rising Tide Chicago. The activists carried banners reading, “BNSF: Profits over Safety” and “BNSF: Bomb Trains Kill.” BNSF moves significantly more… Read More »

Transport Canada Toughens Crude-By-Rail Safety Regulations

(THE CANADIAN GOVT TAKES ACTION!): Trains carrying 20 cars or more of crude oil or ethanol must not exceed 50 mph under a new directive issued by Transport Canada on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, and that limit may be lowered for some locations after specific risk assessments for particular urban population and sensitive assets such… Read More »

A Danger on the Rails

(Video Op-Ed from the New York Times) In recent years, small towns across the United States have begun hosting an increasingly common phenomenon: long trains, made up of 100-plus black cylindrical cars, rolling slowly past our hospitals, schools and homes. Few who see them know what they carry: highly flammable crude oil from the shale… Read More »

Chicago at Heart of Crude Oil Shimpents

from the Chicago Tribune : “More highly volatile crude oil passes through the Midwest, specifically the Chicago area, via railroad tank cars than anywhere else in the country, according to newly released data from the federal government. The latest information on crude-oil-by-rail movements, the government’s first accounting of such shipments, showed that 437,000 barrels of… Read More »

In Chicago, “bomb trains” hidden in plain sight

More trains carrying volatile crude oil pass through Chicago than anywhere else in the country, as reported by the Chicago Tribune last week. – from Midwest Energy News And the oil trains are passing through and sitting idle for hours in the same low-income, largely black and Latino Chicago neighborhoods that have been at the… Read More »

Illinois oil train that derailed near Galena was heading for Chicago

(HOW CLOSE DOES IT NEED TO GET?)  Officially, they’re railroad tank cars, but after three fiery derailments in three weeks, some have taken to call them “oil bomb trains.” New information from federal authorities is that 25 million Americans live within the 1-mile evacuation zone that straddles tracks used by crude oil rail lines. Dozens… Read More »