Tag Archives: Train inspection

Federal inspectors find 100 defects on crude oil trains, tracks

Repost from the White Plains NY Journal News on LoHud.com
[Editor: Significant quote: “At the CSX-owned Frontier Rail Yard in Buffalo, 106 DOT-111 crude oil tank cars were checked and three had found to have critical defects, including a cracked weld, a missing bolt and one inoperative brake assembly….Since the state began its “inspection blitz” last February, inspectors have examined 7,368 rail cars (including 5,360 DOT-111s) and 2,659 miles of track, uncovering 840 defects, and issuing 12 hazardous materials violations. The state recently hired five new rail inspectors.”  – RS]

Inspectors find 100 defects on crude oil trains, tracks

By Khurram Saeed, December 15, 2014
train
State and federal railroad safety officials have inspected more than 7,300 rail cars and 2,600 miles of track since last February in response to increase shipments of Bakken crude across nearly 1,000 miles of New York. (Photo: Associated Press)

A broken rail, defective train car wheels and missing bolts on the tracks were among some of the problems state and federal teams found during its most recent round of statewide inspections of oil trains and the rail lines they use.

They identified 100 defects, including eight safety defects that require immediate action, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said in a release.

Inspection teams from the state Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration on Dec. 9 examined 704 crude oil tank cars and about 95 miles of track as part of the state’s on-going response to a surge in rail shipments of Bakken crude across nearly 1,000 miles of New York.

They did not look at the River Line, the track owned by CSX Corp. that runs through the Hudson Valley, including Rockland. As many as 30 trains carrying 80 to 100 tank cars filled with explosive crude oil from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota head south to East Coast refineries.

But the inspection of 15 miles of CSX-owned mainline track near Albany found a critical switch gauge defect that required a speed reduction, the release said. They also discovered four non-critical defects, including loose bolts. They must be repaired within 30 days.

“We have sent inspection crews to check rail tracks and crude oil cars across New York and we continue to find critical safety defects that put New Yorkers at risk,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Crude oil tank cars, especially the older DOT-111 models are also in the spotlight because they have been involved in several accidents, including an derailment and explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec in July 2013. Bakken crude is volatile and can catch fire should the tank rupture or derail.

The federal government is reviewing rules that would increase safety standards.

At the CSX-owned Frontier Rail Yard in Buffalo, 106 DOT-111 crude oil tank cars were checked and three had found to have critical defects, including a cracked weld, a missing bolt and one inoperative brake assembly.

CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle said in an email that the railroad “appreciates Governor Cuomo’s continued focus on making the safe transportation of energy products even safer,” adding that CSX is “committed to strong, ongoing and long-term coordination with state and local officials.”

Since the state began its “inspection blitz” last February, inspectors have examined 7,368 rail cars (including 5,360 DOT-111s) and 2,659 miles of track, uncovering 840 defects, and issuing 12 hazardous materials violations. The state recently hired five new rail inspectors.