railroad

EarthFix Analysis
6:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Few Railcars Carrying Flammable Oil Get Inspected

A small percentage of trains carrying hazardous materials are inspected as they move through Oregon and Washington. Safety advocates and legislators are more concerned about what federal regulations allow than the fewer than 1 percent of cars found with safety violations.
Credit Flickr Photo/Russ Allison

As we researched a recent story about train shipments of oil, we asked Washington and Oregon officials: How many of the trains coming through the Northwest are inspected?

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EarthFix Reports
10:06 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Oil, Rail Companies Offer Little Information About Shipments

Rail and oil companies do not have to disclose how many DOT-111 tanker cars travel through the Northwest. DOT-111 tanker cars, which exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, and killed 47 people, have a design flaw and are easily punctured.
Credit Transportation Safety Board of Canada

The oil-by-rail boom is underway, and with that, several high-profile, fiery derailments.  

But state officials don't have the information they need to prepare for an oil train mishap because railroad and oil companies are not required to disclose much on shipments or response strategies.

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Coal In The Northwest
12:08 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Coal Dust From Trains Adds To Pollution, New Research Finds

Dan Jaffe, UW-Bothell professor, used crowdfunding to raise money to study how passing coal trains impact air quality. He issued conclusions from his research on Nov. 4, 2013.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

New research results suggest coal trains are contributing to the Northwest’s air pollution.

That’s according to the preliminary results of a University of Washington atmospheric and environmental scientist’s crowdfunded study.

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Railroad History
9:28 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Former Northwest Railroad Town Struggles To Keep Last 25 People

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 6:05 pm

Take a drive down any highway in the Northwest, and you'll pass signs for dozens of small towns. There are more than 700 cities under 10,000 people in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Many of these towns came about because of railroads or timber or mines and now they’re trying to figure out what comes next.

It's nearly 2:15 in Avery, Idaho. The mail has arrived. And the post office is about to become the busiest place in town.

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