A survey of 250 oil train bridges across America found that almost half showed signs of considerable deterioration, including missing or crumbling concrete, partially washed-away footings, rotted pilings and badly corroded steel beams, according to a report released this week.
Determining whether the problems found by three environmental groups pose a threat to public safety is almost impossible, however, because the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) rarely inspects the nation’s estimated 100,000 rail bridges, including some built more than 100 years ago. Instead the agency leaves that responsibility to the railroads, which don’t make their inspection records public.
Most of us assume that bridges are regularly inspected and that there is careful government oversight, but that is not the case for thousands of railroad bridges around the nation. The owners of those bridges (mostly railroad companies) are allowed to set their own load limits, speed limits and inspection and maintenance schedules. […]
The full Deadly Crossing report is available for download at http://www.waterkeeper.org/2015/11/10/new-investigative-report-documents-threat-from-oil-trains-on-nations-neglected-rail-infrastructure/
“Lee First is is a professional wetland scientist with the North Sound Baykeeper Team. Alex Ramel is Extreme Oil Field Director at ForestEthics” – Cascadia Weekly