AP: FRA finds thousands of safety defects on crude routes

Posted on April 12, 2017

By: Ben Meyer, American Shipper

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) inspectors have discovered nearly 24,000 defects on roughly 58,000 miles of rail routes used to transport crude oil in 44 states, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The findings are part of a targeted inspection program that began in January 2015, following several high-profile crude-by-rail accidents in the United States and Canada. Defects found included worn rails, broken or loose bolts, and cracked steel bars, any of which could cause a derailment under certain circumstances.

Although these types of defects are not uncommon, Steven Ditmeyer, former director of the FRA’s Office of Research and Development, told AP the findings reinforce the need for railroads to stay on top of regular maintenance.

“All of this is a call for continued vigilance," Ditmeyer said of the inspection data. "One defect or one violation of the right kind can cause a derailment."…

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