Longshore workers in the Pacific Northwest are educating their communities on the risks posed by energy trains — including safety issues and rail congestion that chokes off other cargo. Several recent explosions are driving the point home. From the Oregonian:
The accidents came in rapid succession.
In July 2013, an oil train crashed in Quebec, killing 47 people. That November, another one exploded in Alabama. The next month, an oil train sparked a massive fireball in North Dakota. January: New Brunswick, Canada. In May: Lynchburg, Va.
And then, nothing. For nine months, oil trains stopped exploding.
Was the problem fixed? Hardly. Four oil trains have derailed and caught fire in just the last three weeks in Illinois, West Virginia and Ontario (twice), spilling hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil.