Thursday, February 26, 2015

More About Those "Bomb Trains" Passing By

Last week, a train carrying 3 million gallons of crude oil--very likely one that had already traveled through the Hudson Valley--derailed in West Virginia. Nineteen tanker cars slammed into each other and caught fire. A nearby house burned. Hundreds of families had to be evacuated when they lost their water and electricity. And oil spilled into a tributary of the Kanawha River.

Last night, Dave Davies, substituting this week for Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air, interviewed Marcus Stern, an investigative reporter who has spent the past year studying the risks of transporting crude oil by train throughout the country. If you missed the broadcast, you can listen to the interview online: "A Hard Look at the Risks of Transporting Oil on Rail Tanker Cars."


  1. Shipping the stuff presents different hazards.

    In one of David Lee's photos taken from the Rip Van Winkle Bridge of the ice-bound barges (Register Star), I believe that the large ship passing to starboard is carrying midwestern crude. The oil arrives in Albany by rail, after which oil-laden vessels travel downriver.

    Does anyone suppose that ice poses a risk to the shipping of crude oil?

    Driven by a gold rush mentality, everything about the industry is developing too quickly for public safety and river advocates and to keep up.

    Don't assume that someone else is on top of the situation. Everyone is encouraged to ask the most basic questions.

  2. 300,000,000 million gallons is an awful lot of fuel---I wonder if this figure is correct.

    1. Whoops! My mistake! It was 3 million . . . as if that weren't enough.

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