Oil Trains

Oil Train Regulation
6:14 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

New Safety Rules Proposed To Curb Oil Train Fires

he U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a comprehensive set of rules in response to fiery crashes involving trains carrying crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota.
Credit Paul Sullivan / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed a comprehensive set of rules Wednesday in response to fiery crashes involving trains carrying crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota.

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Oil Trains
5:35 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Poll: Most Northwest Residents Support Oil Trains But Don't Know Much About The Issue

Credit Hugh Llewelyn / Flickr

A new poll shows the majority of Northwest residents support oil transportation by rail and don't think the safety and environmental risks are too high.

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Railway Whistleblowers
7:43 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Workers Question Safety Culture Of Railroad Hauling Volatile Crude Oil

BNSF Railway, the second-largest freight network in the U.S., is at the center of the boom in crude by rail. The railroad touts its commitment to safety. Current and former workers question the safety culture on the ground.
Credit Michael Werner / EarthFix

Crude oil shipments by rail increased by more than 80 percent, nationally, last year.

Most of it is coming from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. That crude is more flammable than other types of oil, and has been shown to catch fire and explode when trains derail.

More than 15 trains of Bakken oil move through some parts of the Northwest each week, en route to refineries and terminals in Washington and Oregon.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway transports the majority of that oil.

The company regularly touts its commitment to safety.

But an EarthFix investigation reveals some troubling patterns in the way BNSF Railway deals with whistleblowers – particularly those who voice concerns about safety.

Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix. EarthFix’s Tony Schick contributed to the reporting for this story.

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