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.
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.
Recent reports about the growth of transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft would suggest that their success pits them directly against traditional taxi drivers. But, a representative from the taxi industry says that's NOT what's behind a rally in Richmond in which they called for more fairness for taxicab drivers.
Daniel Berhane with Virginia Taxicab Drivers United says while they don't believe rival companies are being established correctly, the VTDU is more concerned about the lack of job protections for drivers.