North Dakota calls for rail safety review

Jan. 14, 2014 at 8:27 AM

BISMARCK, N.D., Jan. 14 (UPI) -- North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said the need for safer rail cars used for transporting hazardous materials like crude oil from his state was "very clear."

No injuries were reported after a BNSF Railway Co. train carrying oil from the Bakken reserve area in North Dakota derailed Dec. 30 near Casselton. U.S. safety regulators said older DOT-111 cars, some of which derailed, may be more vulnerable to leaks or explosions than other types of rail cars

Dalrymple pressed for more rail safety during a Monday meeting with BNSF Chief Executive Officer Matt Ross.

"It's very clear that we need tank cars with improved safety features for the transportation of Bakken crude oil," Dalrymple said in a statement.

There isn't enough pipeline capacity to keep up with the increase in North American oil production, prompting energy companies to use rail to deliver crude oil.

Dalrymple said he was calling for a review of train speeds through populated areas and greater communication among rail operators. The BNSF line collided with another train.

The PHMSA issued a safety alert in early January saying the type of crude oil in the Bakken reserve area may be more flammable than other grades.

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