February 19, 2014: US Railroads Agree to Reduce Speed Limits for Crude Oil Trains

US railroads likely will agree to reduced speed limits when carrying crude in populated areas and increased inspections under a forthcoming pact with the Department of Transportation to boost the safety of crude-by-rail shipments, the head of the Association of American Railroads said Wednesday.

They are also likely agree to distributed power on crude oil unit trains, meaning locomotives or end-of-train devices that are capable of applying braking power on both ends of the train to reduce the stopping time. Agreements to increase inspections of crude shipments is expected as well.

When talking about the anticipated upgrades to tank cars, both Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, and Bob Greco, the API's group director of downstream and industry operations indicated that they are most concerned with  "keep[ing]  the damn trains on the tracks,"  and felt that addressing the root cause of derailments should be at garner at least equal attention.

See article here.

Author: Wendy Buckley

Wendy has been in the hazardous materials industry for over 17 years. She worked for both the Federal Railroad Administration and New Jersey State Department of Transportation as a Railroad Hazardous Materials Safety Inspector. Wendy was an Investigator with the Office of Inspector General at Amtrak, a Multi-Modal HazMat Instructor and Auditor with a premier training and consulting company, and managed the Regulatory Affairs department at a multi-billion dollar, multi-national laboratory supply company. Wendy started her career as a Hazardous Materials Technician and Firefighter and today she is the President & Founder of Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services, a hazardous materials and hazardous waste management consulting firm. Wendy has multiple degrees from several private and public Universities.