Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Local Officials Say An Oil Train Wreck Would Be A Major "Challenge" To Deal With Here

Yesterday I brought you the news that there could be even more oil trains moving through our area in coming years (see post below), now today local emergency responders are saying that if an oil train exploded, they would be "challenged" to deal with such an event, to say the least.

Local officials testified last night at a hearing on the growth in oil shipments by rail. The risk of a wreck and explosion, such the one that killed 47 people in Quebec last year, or evacuated the town of Casselton, North Dakota, figured prominently in the speakers’ remarks. And fire officials say firefighters need more training and equipment, and exercises to help local emergency officials prepare a coordinated response.

Those officials also asked the BNSF Railway to take some steps to take our community safe.
The Spokesman-Review has the story.


Charles said...

Good thing that BNSF has two trucks to take care of any fires in Spokane, but one is in Montana and the second one in Pasco, so they would be available quickly in case of a fire.

SRTC Staff said...

That didn't reassure me when I read that. By the time they could get here seems like a lot of damage would already be done.

Charles said...

I talked to a lot of workers that worked in the repair shops in Spokane and after the merger with the Great Northern and Northern Pacific they closed the repair shops in Spokane and moved half the staff to Havre Montana and half to Pasco. All the workers said this was a very bad decision, and it looks like they are continuing to ignore that Spokane is a better place for the repair shops and also the trucks to fight fire. Not to just place the repair shops and trucks based on miles between stops.

SRTC Staff said...

I've got a couple friends on the railroad and they have both said the same thing.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.