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25.05.2014
Reports claim there were 63 passengers who were injured, 11 of whom were in critical condition. The initial concern was whether people were ejected from the train and landed in the water.
Amtrak’s rail service connects New York City via Penn Station with other cities in the Northeast, Midwest, South, and Canada. New Jersey governor Chris Christie spiked plans to build two new rail tunnels under the Hudson, likely leaving the metropolitan region for the next quarter century with all of two rail tunnels to carry New Jersey commuters into Midtown Manhattan.
ALBANY—Oil trains will be thicker, have more advanced braking systems and additional protective shields under new federal rules announced Friday, but the most dangerous cars could remain on the tracks for an additional three years.
Firefighters and rescue personnel work along the tracks at the site of an oil-train derailment. ALBANY—New York released an oil-train safety report on the same day a derailed oil train drained into a river near Lynchburg, Virginia.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state would aggressively pursue new oil train safety measures, but that it was the “fundamental responsibility” of federal agencies to address oil train safety. A man was dead outside of the car, one was found in the first car and the third man was found near the third car. They claim it will take awhile before they will be able to assess all the injuries and damage involved. The New York City Police sent a dive team, helicopters, and a canine squad into the waters. A White House official said the president’s thoughts and prayers are going out to the friends and families who had lost someone involved with the derailment.
Joseph Boardman at the Regional Plan Association’s conference last week at the Waldorf Astoria.
Those two tunnels are more than a century old and carry more more than 160,000 passengers a day.
Oil trains have exploded about a dozen times in the last two years in North American, killing dozens and narrowly avoided more significant catastrophes.
However, in New York, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and other upstate cities that see significant oil train traffic are not considered “high threat” by the federal government. Moments after the Virginia accident, which also shut down the city water supply for Richmond, the company that brings much of the crude oil through New York announced that it would replace its entire fleet with safer cars by June 1. There is a shuttle service being provided by the railroad between White Plains and Tarrytown. Officials have gone through the site numerous times to make sure there weren’t any others hurt. Yet, their use has increased more than 4,000 percent in just a few years as a fracking boom in North Dakota fuels a major domestic expansion of crude oil production.


There is said to be a connection to Metro-North’s Harlem Line for those who are traveling in and out of the Grand Central Terminal. If it were to occur on a workday, there would have been a lot more than just four people killed. The passenger told New York City reporters there were people who were thrown from one side of the train to the next. They are also a dangerously narrow chokepoint on the one of the busiest rail corridors in the world.The state and federally financed project called Access to the Region’s Core would have doubled the number of cross-Hudson tubes and relieved that bottleneck.
The new oil train regulations released Friday are among the first major attempts by American and Canadian regulators to address the danger posed by the trains, which travel throughout New York every day. The number of trains carrying crude through New York has increased rapidly, now carrying 160,000 barrels of oil a day. Andrew Cuomo has called on federal regulators to strengthen oil train requirements and has asked for oil producers to reduce volatility before crude oil is shipped.
The report found that 82 percent of the cars are deficient and that the state does not have the staffing to properly handle spill response and emergency planning so it will need more federal assistance. Television and cell phone footage from the scene showed flames shooting from the burning cars near city buildings. The new regulations do not require oil companies to reduce the volatility of oil before it ships, which many said was essential to make the crude less likely to explode in an accident. Moments after the Virginia accidents, Global Partners of Massachusetts announced that it would switch to safer CPC-1232 rail cars at its crude handling facility in Albany by June 1. It is unfortunate that four people lost their lives today, but officials say this New York City derailment could have been a lot worse resulting in many deaths. Amtrak's literature puts the target completion date at 2030, but Boardman, recounting a panel discussion he'd attended earlier that day, said the panel's consensus was “25 years if you’re lucky.”By his lights, that’s not nearly soon enough, particularly with what he describes as at least a half-billion dollars' worth of Hurricane Sandy-related damage. In a release, the Transportation department referred to the new regulations and schedule as “aggressive.” However, many of those who closely track the use of oil trains disagreed with that statement.
Global transports much of the crude through New York, and it has state approval to transport almost 2 billion gallons.
Firefighters stood by and waited for it to burn out and then responders tried to stanch the flow of oil into the James. That could pose some very big problems for the New Jersey commuters and regional rail travelers who rely on those tunnels to get from New Jersey to New York, and back again.“Today those two tunnels carry 24 trains per hour, 24,” he said. The state report released Wednesday was the culmination of an executive order Cuomo issued in January requesting an assessment from five state agencies, including the state departments of environmental conservation, transportation and health.
The retrofit deadlines vary based on the type of cars, but the last won't be addressed until 2025.
The report recommends that New York secure better information about the volume and characteristics of crude being transported here, develop a database of emergency response equipment and strengthen regulations of the handling of crude to better prepare for spills.


Charles Schumer said the new regulations did not get the most dangerous cars off the tracks quickly enough. The state will increase fines for slow oil-spill reporting, require more first-responder drills and preposition spill and fire response equipment.
The report also calls on industry to provide a more thorough risk analysis of the crude oil being shipped here, remove dissolved gases before shipment and to develop a web-based system that tracks trains carrying hazardous material in real time. Cuomo also called on the federal government to remove all of the risky DOT-111 cars from the rails after the Lynchburg explosion, calling it a “startling pattern that underscores the need for action.” But the state report largely leaves responsibility for train safety to the federal government.
Railroads are governed by federal law, making it a challenge to regulate the movement of trains within a state. But federal regulatory presence hasn't kept up with growth in oil-train traffic, now that the United States has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world's leading crude oil producer and more than 400,000 oil trains are rolling along the nation's tracks, up from fewer than 10,000 just five years ago. So if Amtrak’s selfish and owns the infrastructure and says we’re gonna do our four, well it doesn’t matter whether New Jersey Transit gets two or not, because with two they’re dead anyway. For all the discussion of pipeline safety and expansion, there is so much crude coming out of the Bakken region that large volumes will continue to be transported by rail. New York, and in particular the Port of Albany, have emerged as a major hub for transportation in recent years.
New York's rail lines handle about 16 percent of the total annual output of the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota, one of the world's largest formations. Boardman was making in his comments at the RPA Assembly is that damage from Sandy accelerated what was already an urgent need for additional tunnel capacity between New York and New Jersey,” he continued.
On Wednesday, the Adirondack Council called on the federal Environmental Protection Agency to increase its oversight of the trains, which travel through many small communities in North Country and along the shore of Lake Champlain.“Most people who live, work and play along these tracks were unaware until very recently that they had been singled out to take on a major risk on behalf of CP Rail and the oil companies who are paying it to ship the explosive Bakken crude,” deputy director Diane Fish wrote. State officials already toughened their approach to companies transporting crude here, by threatening to revoke previous approvals if the companies did not provide more information.
The state doubled the amount of freight inspectors and has targeted rail yards and hundreds of oil trains with more aggressive and frequent checks, and have found dozens of violations so far. What's more, the state Department of Environmental Conservation sent a list of 29 questions to Global that must be answered before the state approves air permits needed for crude handling facilities at the Port of Albany. Global's proposed expansion of a crude offloading facility in New Windsor is similarly stalled under intense state scrutiny.



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