At a meeting with emergency responders in Portland Friday, U.S. senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley asked railroad companies to address growing concerns about oil train safety.
Following several oil train derailments and related emergencies in the past six months, the senators say they're hearing more and more concerns from their constituents. The Northwest is seeing a surge in proposals to deliver crude oil by train from North Dakota to refineries and shipping terminals. That has people worried about the dangers of outdated railroad cars and insufficient safety regulations. Senator Wyden says federal safety rules need to be reformed.
"Our challenge is to modernize the system. A system that was built for small lumber trains is now dealing with something hugely different." said Wyden
Railroad executives say they support some changes in regulations, including updating or replacing old rail cars.
Copyright 2014 Oregon Public Broadcasting