10 September 2014, News Wires – US rail regulators have proposed new measures aimed at preventing unattended freight trains carrying explosive cargoes like crude oil from causing accidents.
The Federal Railroad Administration, part of the US Department of Transportation, has proposed strengthening requirements for securing unattended freight trains.
“Safety is our top priority,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today’s action is only the latest in more than two dozen steps we have taken in the last year to further safeguard communities along train routes that carry crude oil and other flammable liquids.”
The new measures would require railroads to prevent trains or vehicles transporting specified hazardous materials from being left unattended on a mainline track or side track outside a yard and would require locks to be installed on train doors to prevent unauthorised access.
The proposal would also make permanent many emergency requirements put in place after the deadly Lac-Megantic runaway-train accident in Quebec in July 2013, which killed 47 people.
“This rulemaking will solidify our existing securement regulations and provide additional safeguards against the rolling of unattended freight trains, especially those carrying hazardous materials,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo.
A public comment period on the proposal will be open until 10 November.
In July, the US Transportation Department proposed extensive new safety rules for hauling crude oil by rail.