The Friday derailment roundup

Derailment after derailment. They just keep happening.

Since early February, there have been numerous derailments in North America carrying crude from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. These accidents have sparked increased calls from citizens, the rail industry and lawmakers for the federal government to increase safety regulations.

To keep up with these incidents and new safety regulations, PublicSource provides a roundup of stories every Friday.


Derailments attributed to faulty tracks​

Nearly 60 percent of derailments for trains hauling crude oil and ethanol since 2013 were caused by problems with tracks, according to an analysis by the LA Times. That’s more than double the overall rate for freight train accidents, the newspaper found.


More on Mount Carbon crash

Tests performed two months prior to a derailment in Mount Carbon, W.V., on Feb. 16 showed a rail defect, according to a federal report. However, neither the railroad nor the company that did the testing addressed the issue and the rail broke, which led to the derailment. Federal authorities are releasing new track standards in response to the incident.


Judge approves crash settlement

Families of victims of the 2013 Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, crash are getting a $338 million settlement. Forty-seven people died in the accident when a runaway crude oil train crashed in the middle of the city’s downtown.


Oil train derails in Lynchburg, Va.

A CSX train carrying empty oil tank cars derailed after its engine and first car skipped the tracks. No one was hurt, and the police department said the incident was “minimal.” Last year, another CSX oil train carrying 105 cars derailed near the same location and 30,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the James River.


Reach Elaina Zachos at ezachos@publicsource.org.