Florida Bulldog: Despite ‘disaster risk,’ trains haul hazardous gas cargo in South Florida

Posted on August 22, 2018

By: Ann Henson Feltgen, Florida Bulldog.org

About the same time Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) executives were convincing Florida’s east coast cities and counties to back its idea of privately owned passenger trains traversing downtowns and densely populated neighborhoods, it quietly sought and won permission to haul extremely flammable liquified natural gas along the same tracks.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a hazardous material that had never been transported by railroad in the continental United States, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, which provides permits for LNG transportation.

The FEC began transporting LNG for profit last year. In South Florida, that includes tracks from its affiliated Hialeah Rail Yard LNG supply terminal in Medley to PortMiami and to Port Everglades for commercial export. Some of that track is also used by Brightline, the intercity passenger railroad operated by FEC subsidiary All Aboard Florida.

In the first six months of 2018, FEC transported 148.7 million cubic feet of LNG from Hialeah Yard to Port Everglades bound for Grand Bahama Island or Barbados, according to U.S. Department of Energy records. No LNG was shipped out of PortMiami during the same period…

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