Rail Industry

Part 5 of 5
3:52 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Dangerous Cargo: Emergency Workers Still in the Dark

Credit Natural Resources Defense Council

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. 

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Preventing Disaster
5:14 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Meeting on Rail Safety

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.

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African American Railroad Workers
11:42 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Cotton to Silk

Employees at the Bluefield, WVA Shop, June 1929
Norfolk Southern Corporation

An oral history project and a soon-to-be released book tell the story of African American Heritage on the Roanoke-based Norfolk and Western Railroad.

The memories are those of 20 retired and current black employees of N&W, which later became Norfolk Southern.

The railroad was a microcosm of America itself—and the stories illustrate the momentum of equal opportunity.

Oral historian Sheree Scarborough has been running on tight deadlines.

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Beloved Steam Locomotive May Ride the Rails Again
4:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Fire Up the 611!

Credit Virginia Museum of Transportation

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.

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50th Anniveresary of Tourist Train
4:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Cass Scenic Railroad

Credit Cass Scenic Railroad

Earlier this month the Shay Number 4 locomotive made the  eight-mile trip up Cheat Mountain, from the Cass Scenic Railroad depot in Pochantas County to the former work camp at Whittaker Station. 

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