Train Derailments

WPXI / via AP

Most of approximately 1,000 displaced Bedford County residents were allowed to return to their homes this weekend after a train derailed last week and caught fire.

Tests on air quality led the railroad company CSX, an incident management team and environmental specialists to decide that it was safe to reduce the evacuation zone to a limited area immediately surrounding the derailment site in Hyndman, about 100 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, a CSX spokesman said Saturday.

Oil Trains Carry Bigger Risks For People Of Color

Mar 13, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP

A rash of oil train derailments, spills and explosions in recent years has put a spotlight on the silent risks of transporting fossil fuels. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians live within the likely evacuation zone of a potential oil train accident. But according to a new study from the group PennEnvironment, people of color and low-income communities are shouldering a larger share of the risk.

Bruce Fingerhood / flickr

Governor Tom Wolf released a report Monday by Dr. Allan Zarembski focused on the safety of Pennsylvanians and protecting people from the potential of Bakken crude oil train derailments. In the report, Dr. Zarembski presents 27 recommendations. He joins us by phone to discuss what they are.

 

Expert Assesses Risk Of Oil Train Derailment In Pennsylvania

Aug 17, 2015
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

With as many as 70 oil trains rumbling across Pennsylvania each week, the administration of Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday released a series of recommendations meant to reduce the risk of a catastrophic derailment, including reduced speeds through cities, beefed-up track inspections and a call for trackside communities to plan for an emergency.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Updated at 12:37 p.m.

State and city officials say 13 cars that derailed on a Pittsburgh freight train were empty and injured nobody.

Guy Costa, the city's director of operations, says the 13 cars derailed shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday. Costa says the entire train, not just the derailed hopper cars, was empty. John Poister, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection confirmed the information and says nobody was hurt.

AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File

Gov. Tom Wolf has hired a specialist in railroad engineering and safety to help limit the risk of a potential oil train derailment on Pennsylvania's rail freight system.

Wolf's administration said Tuesday that the hiring of Allan Zarembski of the University of Delaware is for three months at $38,000.

Preparing For The Worst, Delco First Responders Simulate Oil Train Accident

Mar 25, 2015
Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The increasing number of rail cars carrying crude oil through Pennsylvania means a rising risk of accidents. Recent derailments caused trains to explode and incinerate areas along tracks in Illinois and West Virginia, threatening waterways.

So far, Pennsylvania has been lucky. Within the past year and a half, oil trains traveling through the state derailed in Philadelphia, Vandergrift and McKeesport, but none of them exploded.

Back in the sumer of 2013, that wasn’t the case in the Quebec village of Lac Megantic, where an oil train crash killed 47 people. Five bodies were never recovered, having been incinerated.

Michael Lynch / 90.5 WESA

Public safety officials from around the Pittsburgh region joined U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) at the Allegheny County Courthouse today as he announced his support for a bill that would form a national train derailment task force.

The Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs and Safety Evaluation, or RESPONSE ACT, would create a new set of training and resource recommendations for derailment first responders. It would be a subcommittee under the Federal Emergency Management Agency.