DOT proposes new safety rules for oil trains

KIMT News 3 – Every day nine trains leave western North Dakota filled with oil. Most head east through Minnesota in order to reach the east coast.

That has many in the state, and across the country, concerned about safety issues that may come about transporting highly flammable hazardous materials.

After many months of research and other work, the U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed some new rules.

“We need to get rid of the uncertainty and the unsafe conditions and get this turned around as soon as possible, so that we have a much safer environment,” said Dave Christianson with Freight & Rail Planning with MnDOT.

One new rule involves replacing outdated cars that transport the material, slowing trains down in major cities and more.

“It is relatively unprecedented, probably since the 1970s when we had a lot of derailments and major issues with pressurized LPG tank cars. Since then there’s been nothing similar to this that has come up that has needed such a wide ranging adjustment,” Christianson said.

He said there are three designs being tossed around for new cars. They are asking for the public’s comment on them.

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