Tag Archives: Rail Safety

High hazard railroads could face higher safety standards in 2020

A bill, which would require high hazard trains carrying oil to have spill contingency plans approved by the Department of Environmental Quality, passed through the Oregon House of Representatives on a 56-3 vote Monday and is currently in the Joint Committee On Ways and Means. House Bill 2209, if passed by the Senate, would charge […]
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Oregon’s oil train rules bring up the rear

Oregon’s wide-open embrace of corporate campaign contributions has repercussions across a number of industries, and results in more lenient environmental laws than in neighboring West Coast states. That disparity is especially pronounced in the railroad industry, specifically regarding tank car shipments of hazardous crude oil to export facilities in and near Portland. It’s an established […]
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Trump Administration Rolls Back Obama-Era Safety Rules For Oil Trains

The Trump administration has finalized a roll back of Obama-era regulations for oil trains. The rules, which date back to 2015, required railroads carrying crude oil or other flammable liquids to outfit their trains with more responsive electronic braking systems. The rules came in response to concerns about explosions and spills from mile-long trains of crude and […]
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Umatilla, Morrow counties prepare plans for railroad emergencies

Morrow, Umatilla and Polk counties are the first in Oregon to complete local emergency response plans for crashes and accidents of trains hauling hazardous materials. The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal coordinates emergency response planning for oil or hazardous materials spills or releases during rail transport. The state agency reported it recently worked with […]
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Post-derailment, Oregon passenger rail struggles to get back on track

Passenger rail “is always going to lag and struggle unless we want to put in dedicated resources,” says ODOT rail division chief. Oregon Amtrak service was on an upward growth trajectory until December 18, when a tragic accident derailed train cars on the inaugural run of a new track segment on the Cascades’ Seattle to […]
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Amtrak gives Oregon, Washington state timetable for activating positive train control 

Amtrak’s CEO has given Oregon and Washington state officials a timeline for when the company will activate automatic safety braking systems in the Pacific Northwest. This is the technology many experts believe could have prevented last month’s deadly train derailment south of Tacoma. Source: Amtrak gives Oregon, Washington state timetable for activating positive train control […]
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Amtrak’s Anderson outlines safety efforts for Oregon, Washington

Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson last week presented a status report to Oregon and Washington state officials on the railroad’s plan for responding to last month’s deadly derailment of an Amtrak Cascades train near DuPont, Washington. Source: Rail News – Amtrak’s Anderson outlines safety efforts for Oregon, Washington. For Railroad Career Professionals

Another Voice: ‘Stop placing profits ahead of safety’ on railroads

In the wake of Amtrak 501’s derailment earlier this week, we are once again reminded of the importance of incorporating modern technology to drastically improve outcome and, in some cases, prevent derailment altogether. Mosier Mayor Arlene Burns submitted this Another Voice, and mayors and council members from six other Oregon and Washington cities signed it. […]
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Our view: Safe train travel must be part of Pacific Northwest’s future

The Associated Press reported that since 1969, nearly 300 people have died in U.S. train crashes that existing technology could have prevented. Add the three people killed in last week’s crash south of Tacoma, Washington, and the toll is 301. It will be 12 to 24 months before the National Transportation Safety Board completes its […]
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Off the Rails: Protest oil train regulation rollback 

Gorge residents should be outraged at a decision by the federal government that puts us all in danger. As reported on the Greater Gorge page, A2, the Trump administration has rolled back a 2015 rule on oil train safety. Source: Off the Rails: Protest oil train regulation rollback | Hood River News