"Accidents Surge as Oil Industry Takes the Train"

"CASSELTON, N.D. — Kerry’s Kitchen is where Casselton residents gather for gossip and comfort food, especially the caramel rolls baked fresh every morning. But a fiery rail accident last month only a half mile down the tracks, which prompted residents to evacuate the town, has shattered this calm, along with people’s confidence in the crude-oil convoys that rumble past Kerry’s seven times a day."

"What was first seen as a stopgap measure in the absence of pipelines has become a fixture in the nation’s energy landscape — about 200 'virtual pipelines' that snake in endless processions across the horizon daily. It can take more than five minutes for a single oil train, made up of about 100 tank cars, to pass by Kerry’s, giving this bedroom community 20 miles west of Fargo a front-row seat to the growing practice of using trains to carry oil.

'I feel a little on edge — actually very edgy — every time one of those trains passes,' said Kerry Radermacher, who owns the coffee shop. 'Most people think we should slow the production, and the trains, down.'"

Clifford Krauss and Jad Mouawad report for the New York Times January 25, 2014.

SEE ALSO:

"California Expects More Crude Oil By Rail, Seeks To Beef Up Spill Response" (McClatchy)

"Railroad Tank-Car Safety Woes Date Decades Before Crude Oil Concerns" (McClatchy)

"Lawmakers Demand Stricter Oil Train Regs" (The Hill)

Source: NY Times, 01/27/2014