New oil train safety rule doesn’t apply to Albany

Times Union | April 27, 2015 | Post by Eric Anderson

The Federal Railroad Administration this morning issued a new rule requiring oil trains and other trains carrying hazardous substances to travel no faster than 40 mph through so-called “high-threat urban communities,” as identified in federal regulations.

The Capital Region, as well as Syracuse and Rochester, aren’t included in the list of communities covered, according to a list accompanying the regulation.

The FRA said the lower speed limit is intended to reduce the likelihood of a tank car breach in an accident. It said the newer CPC-1232 tank cars appeared in at least two recent derailments to be more resilient than the older DOT-111 tank cars, with “just one” punctured in a Lynchburg, Va., derailment and none in a derailment in Galena, Ill. Both derailments nevertheless resulted in explosions and fires, even though the trains were traveling at about 23 mph, according to the FRA.

Class I railroads have already adopted the speed regulation voluntarily, the FRA said in its announcement. Tank trains outside the defined high-threat urban areas can continue to travel up to 50 mph. The new regulation is here.

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commented 2015-04-27 14:52:12 -0400 · Flag
You got it,, Susan – Any city, town or hamlet of less than 100k is expendable. All of Lac-Megantic was expendable.
commented 2015-04-27 14:36:46 -0400 · Flag
Oh, wait, I get it. We are expendable.
commented 2015-04-27 14:36:05 -0400 · Flag
So it’s ok for bomb trains to careen through Albany, Cohoes, Watervliet and Menands at 40MPH when derailments have occurred at 23 MPH? WTF???
commented 2015-04-27 14:24:39 -0400 · Flag
Here’s what I said to Channel 6 news when they interview me about this:

1) Neither Albany nor Schenectady is on the list of the DOT High Threat Urban Area even though we get 25% of the Bakken

2) There is no safe speed for these trains which can explode tipping over at a stand still or can be pierced by a terrorist with a rifle.

3) According to Oil Change International, 4% of our daily oil consumption in the US is transported by rail so why are we putting ourselves as such risk when we could lower carbon emissions, leave it in the ground​, practice conservation,​and switch to renewables.

Thanks to Eric Anderson for his quick reporting.
PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy posted about New oil train safety rule doesn’t apply to Albany on PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy's Facebook page 2015-04-27 14:20:02 -0400
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PAUSE, People of Albany United for Safe Energy
PAUSE is a grassroots group of individuals who have come together to promote safe, sustainable energy and fight for environmental justice. We engage the greater public to stop the fossil fuel industry’s assault on the people of Albany and our environment.