90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science

Railroad Expert Worries About Oil Train Safety

Oil containers sit at a train depot on July 26, 2013 outside Williston, North Dakota. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Oil containers sit at a train depot on July 26, 2013 outside Williston, North Dakota. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Most of downtown Lynchburg, Virginia is back to normal, after 17 cars of a 105-car train carrying especially explosive oil crashed last week, sending flames 100 feet into the air near City Hall.

It was the ninth significant accident in the past year in the U.S. and Canada, involving trains carrying oil.

This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an emergency order for railroads, for the first time, to tell state officials when the longest of these so-called oil trains are passing through.

Paul Sando, an expert in rail logistics, discusses his concerns with Here & Now’s Robin Young. He says older trains derail more often than newer ones, but many of the old ones are not being phased out because they’re in demand, as a result of the boom in oil production.

Sando notes that even older tankers that have been reinforced have crashed at speeds below the speed limits set by the railroad industry.

Guest

  • Paul Sando, assistant professor of geography at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 20 3 Comments

The Man Behind ‘Mockingjay’

Francis Lawrence describes the rewards and challenges of bringing "The Hunger Games" books to the screen.

November 20 Comment

Iraq War Vet Wins National Book Award For Fiction

The judges described the short stories in Phil Klay's collection "Redeployment" as brutal, piercing and sometimes darkly funny.

November 19 11 Comments

New Film Revisits The Jerry Sandusky Sex Abuse Case

The Penn State assistant football coach will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, but that's not the end of the story.

November 19 222 Comments

Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power?

Edward Baptist argues in his new book that slavery was integral to establishing the America as a world economic power.