trains

Oil Trains
4:57 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

3,000 Rail Crossings In Washington Go Un-Inspected

A state study on oil transport through Washington finds that the amount of crude oil shipped from North Dakota could triple in the next five years.
Credit U.S. Department of Transportation / Northwest News Network

Washington’s rail safety regulator says there are about 3,000 rail crossings in the state that inspectors have never looked at. That's because they're on private land. And experts say these could be problem areas as more trains carry crude oil through the state. They plan to ask the legislature for more authority.

A state study on oil transport through Washington finds that the amount of crude oil shipped from North Dakota could triple in the next five years. In two decades, more than 16 trains carrying oil could cross the state every day.

Read more
Seattle Train Tunnel
6:46 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Seattle's Great Northern Tunnel Turns 110 Years Old

Great Northern Tunnel South Portal
Credit Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

If you've ridden a train to or from Seattle you have probably passed through the heart of the city via the Great Northern Tunnel.

This month, the tunnel turns 110 years old.

Back in the fall of 1904, when it was finished, the mile-long tunnel was the tallest and widest in the United States.

Local historian Michael Sullivan tells the story:

Read more
Coal Risks
5:47 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Is Coal Dust Risky? Scientists Are Looking Into It

Scientists are studying the effects of coal on the surrounding environment after it leaves the train.
Credit Mark Herren / Flickr

Coal has been transported around the country by rail for decades. But very little research has been done on what coal does to the environment when it escapes from trains.With two large coal export terminals proposed for Washington state, one federal agency is hoping to add good science to the debate over coal in the Northwest.


Read more
NWPR Books
1:13 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

In 'Little Engine That Could,' Some See An Early Feminist Hero

Was "I think I can" the great-grandmother of "lean in?" Some readers see the plucky locomotive as a parable about working women, but some versions of the story feature a male protagonist instead.
Platt & Munk, Penguin Young Readers Group

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 5:23 pm

"Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong."

The beloved tale of the little blue engine — who helps bring a broken-down train of toys to the good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain — has been chugging along for a very long time. But despite the locomotive's optimistic refrain — I think I can, I think I can, I think I can — the story has a somewhat checkered past: In its tracks, The Little Engine has left both a legal battle and a debate over whether the little blue engine is male or female.

Read more
Oil Train Regulation
4:45 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Despite Confidentiality Concerns, BNSF Will Report Oil Shipments To States

A BNSF locomotive pulling a shipment of crude oil.
Credit 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.

Read more
Oil Train Regulation
4:45 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Emergency Order Forces Transparency From Rail Industry On Oil Movements

Until now, the railroad companies moving oil haven’t had to tell state authorities anything about their cargo.
Credit ahhyeah / Flickr

There are millions of gallons of oil moving by train through the Northwest.

Most of them are traveling from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota, to several refineries along Puget Sound.

Read more
Empire Builder
5:52 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Partial Derailment Of Empire Builder Sends One To Hospital

Amtrak says two or three cars in the west-bound Empire Builder lost contact with the tracks near the Montana-North Dakota border.
Credit Nate Beal / Wikimedia Commons

An Amtrak train carrying passengers from Chicago to Portland and Seattle “partially derailed” in eastern Montana this afternoon. One passenger has been taken to the hospital. His injuries are not considered serious.

Read more
Northwest Railways
5:16 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Oregon, Washington Consider Alternative To Amtrak For Cascades Rail Service

The Amtrak logo - seen here on the side of an engine in Salem - could be gone from Cascades corridor trains in the future.
Credit Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon and Washington might turn to a private company to operate their Cascades rail service. The two states are testing the waters to see if anyone other than Amtrak is interested in operating the route that includes Seattle, Portland and Eugene.

Read more
Empire Builder
7:30 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Passengers Wait Hours For Empire Builder, America's Least Reliable Train

Amtrak's Empire Builder rolls past the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, Mont.

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 10:00 am

The worst train in America is right here in the Northwest: the famed Empire Builder.

Read more
Oil Terminal
5:39 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Port of Vancouver Approves Biggest Oil-Train Project In NW

The proposed terminal at the Port of Vancouver could move up to 380,000 gallons of crude oil a day from trains to ships on the Columbia River.
Credit Port of Vancouver USA

The Port of Vancouver Commission voted unanimously to approve a lease for a controversial oil terminal. Two companies have proposed building a terminal at the port that could one day move up to 380,000 barrels of crude oil a day from trains to ships on the Columbia River.

Read more

Pages