Transportation

Part 4 of 5
12:41 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Rail Safety: Tracks & Inspections

Credit City of Lynchburg

Within hours of a rail crash in Lynchburg on April 30, inspectors for the state and federal governments and CSX were on the scene – trying to figure out why 17 cars derailed and one ruptured – producing flames, smoke and a significant oil spill. 

Getting official answers could take 18 months, but there are clues that suggest a cause for the accident and a future course of action to improve rail safety. 

Read more
Environmental Impact Study
3:30 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Coalfields Expressway Plan Under Scrutiny

A plan for a controversial highway, known as the Coalfields Expressway, will undergo a full environmental impact study by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

V-DOT has described the plan the road as an economic lifeline for a region with a depressed economy. But citizen groups see it as benefiting only coal mining companies and not local communities.

 

Read more
New Law July 1st
4:28 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Cycling Safety Legislation

As more commuters turn to bicycles as an alternative method of transportation, lawmakers say everyone must rethink how we take to the roads.

That approach is now reflected in a new law that takes effect on July 1st.  The law will require motorists to allow three feet of clearance when passing bicyclists.

 

Read more
Part 3 of 5
3:09 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Rail Safety: Slower Trains & Stonger Cars

For decades Americans have worried about our dependence on foreign oil and gas.  By 2005 we were importing 60% of our energy, but in 2008 a new technology called horizontal hydrologic fracturing or “fracking” raised the promise of energy independence. 

U.S. crude production is up 50% and  imports have fallen 35%.  But getting oil from a massive shale deposit in North Dakota to refineries is raising serious concerns about public safety.

Read more
Part 2 of 5
4:59 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Rail Safety: Changes Present Challenges

Smoke fills the air at the scene of the train derailment and fire in Lynchburg.

Each year officials investigate an average of ten derailments in Virginia alone.  Most involve coal or grain – cargoes unlikely to cause trouble for nearby communities, but a growing number of trains now carry oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota. 

Because it contains high levels of gas, it’s more volatile than some other forms of crude, and transporting it by rail could be putting whole communities at risk. 

Read more

Pages