bnsf railway

The Boeing Company's unmanned aircraft subsidiary based in the Columbia River Gorge passed a milestone this week in commercializing drone technology.

Tony Schick / EarthFix

A federal jury in Washington has ruled that railroad company BNSF retaliated against a whistleblower who brought safety concerns to light. This week the court awarded the former employee $1.25 million in damages.

Michael Werner / EarthFix

A Puget Sound tribe filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court to stop oil trains from traveling through its reservation north of Seattle.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway’s train tracks cross the top of the Swinomish Reservation in Skagit County. In recent years they’ve been used to move oil from North Dakota to two refineries in Anacortes.

In 1990 BNSF and the Swinomish reached a settlement that required the railroad to regularly update the tribe on the type of cargo moving through the reservation. It also limited traffic to two 25-car trains per day.

Raymond D. Woods Jr. / Flickr

The federal Department of Transportation has required railroads to notify states when they're shipping more than 1 million gallons of North Dakota crude oil by rail.

Raymond D. Woods Jr. / Flickr

BNSF Railway said it will comply with a Saturday federal deadline to provide states with information about the frequency and routes of oil trains from North Dakota and Montana.

The railroad made that announcement Friday even though Washington, Oregon and Idaho have balked at signing confidentiality agreements about the crude oil shipments.

Callum Black / Wikimedia Commons

Environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday in U.S. district court against BNSF Railway and several coal companies. The groups say that the rail and coal companies are violating the Clean Water Act by allowing coal to escape from trains that travel through the region.

Ashley Ahearn / EarthFix

A massive landslide that pushed 200,000 cubic yards of earth down the west side of Whidbey Island grabbed national headlines in March. Landslides have also caused numerous delays in passenger and freight rail along Puget Sound.

Callum Black / Wikimedia Commons

A coalition of environmental groups that oppose exporting coal through terminals in the Northwest have announced plans to file a lawsuit against BNSF Railway and several coal companies. The groups say coal that escapes from trains is polluting the water and should be regulated under the Clean Water Act.