In just over a year, North America has seen a dozen serious accidents involving trains that derailed while carrying flammable crude oil. One of those accidents, in Lynchburg, caused a massive fire and oil spill. In most cases, fire departments didn’t know what they were dealing with, since railroads have kept that information secret, but the federal government is now requiring them to inform states when trains of 35 cars or more, carrying oil from North Dakota or Montana, are coming through.
The derailment in Lynchburg of a CSX train carrying Bakken crude oil in April could have been much worse … and procedures and policies should be revised to mitigate future risk.
That’s the conclusion of a hearing in Richmond led by U.S. Senator Mark Warner… along with emergency responders, public agency heads, and corporate officials. One focus was on the vulnerabilities of transporting oil—and how to prevent such accidents from ever occurring.
After months of study, officials with the Virginia Museum of Transportation believe they will find the financial support needed to get the iconic Norfolk & Western 611 Steam Locomotive back on the rails. The news comes as part of the “Fire Up 611” campaign—but officials say the effort will rely on rail fans worldwide to stoke her fire.
It’s a sound that’s captivated rail buffs for decades, the baritone whistle of the famous 611, affectionately known as the graceful giant.