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Oil train wrecks spur railroad safety measures

February 22, 2014 • National News


FILE – In this Dec. 30, 2013 file photo, a fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment in Casselton, N.D. Railroads that haul volatile crude shipments have reached an agreement with U.S. transportation officials to adopt wide-ranging voluntary safety measures after a string of explosive and deadly accidents. A copy of the agreement between the U.S. Transportation Department and the Association of American Railroads obtained Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 by The Associated Press calls for railroads to slow down oil trains through major cities, increase track inspections and bolster emergency response planning along routes that see trains that can haul up to three million gallons of oil each. (AP Photo/Bruce Crummy, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Railroads that haul volatile crude shipments have reached an agreement with U.S. transportation officials to adopt wide-ranging, voluntary safety measures after a string of explosive and deadly accidents.

The deal signed Friday calls for oil trains to be slowed from a maximum of 50 to 40 miles per hour through major cities, more frequent track inspections and better emergency response planning along routes that carry trains hauling up to 3 million gallons of crude each.

The new safety steps would begin going into effect in late March and be fully in place by July 1.

After a boom in domestic drilling in recent years, oil trains now travel thousands of miles from oil producing areas, including the Northern Plains, to coastal refineries and shipping terminals along the Mississippi River and Login to read more

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