Hazardous Rail Yards
Railroaded has reported extensively on the recent construction of a rail yard in Strathcona County east of Edmonton by Cando Contracting Ltd., Canadian National Railway and Imperial Oil that contravenes many federal statutes, railway operating rules & guidelines, CN policies and Imperial Oil policies. Rail yards are known centres of many rail accidents, spills, fires, and crime.
Most recently, on September 15, hundreds of people were evacuated from neighborhoods, schools and other buildings in downtown Amarillo, Texas, when a rail car filled with pentane exploded at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Yard. Flames soared 300 feet into the air, and several rail workers were injured. Residents who live a half mile north of the fire were told to stay indoors. The Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Federal Railroad Administration are all involved with investigations. See Amarillo Globe News article.
On August 31, an estimated 90,000 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled in the Hobson Rail Yard, Lincoln, Nebraska, by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. A Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department environmental quality supervisor said, “It’s one of the largest (spills) that we can remember.” So much fuel was spilled that some soil will need to be removed from the site. See Lincoln Journal Star article.