Defects Found in Oil Trains

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 @ 07:10 AM gHale

Inspections of crude oil tank cars and railroad tracks in New York found 72 minor defects and one critical defect from a split rail.

The report that came out last Friday from the Governor Andrew Cuomo administration details federal and state inspections of 766 tank cars and 167 miles of track.

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They included hub rail yards in Buffalo and Albany and the CSX Corp. mainline track between Buffalo and Syracuse, where a split rail required lowering the speed limit to 30 mph until its replacement.

At the Frontier Rail Yard in Buffalo, state inspectors found 10 non-critical defects, including 2 worn brake shoes, a missing knuckle pin, 3 deflector shields with loose bolts and 4 damaged coupler tabs, among 102 DOT-111 crude oil tank cars. The Federal Rail Administration inspected 145 DOT-111 crude oil tank cars for hazardous materials defects and found 11 non-critical defects, including 10 loose or missing placards and debris on one tank car platform.

Non-critical tank car defects must end up fixed before the train departs the yard. If that is not possible, the affected car will have to end up pulled from the train to await repair.

The program began in February after several severe accidents across the U.S. and Canada.

Altogether, inspectors have examined wheels, brakes and valves on 6,300 rail cars as well as switches and rails along 2,200 miles of track, finding 658 defects plus nine violations in handling hazardous materials.

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