Washington Fire Chiefs Demand Transparency on Crude Oil Trains


Well, every military study I saw says a full oil train derailed in downtown of a major city would probably burn 10-20% of the city before it could be contained- but that was when I trained in how to make that kind of thing happen, to cause maximum damage to an enemy.

Does that help?

Only if the train goes thru the city, though. Location of fire resources and barrier zones reduces that.
I agree, transparent train cars would be badass, and a boon to law enforcement.
As always it is heartening to see how first responders rise to the occasion to protect us all. if only such heroism rubbed off just a little on the railroad industry.
The first duty of government is to protect citizens, not shareholders.
The rail industry takes advantage of lax regulators, pro-business governments, frail labor unions, and our desire for oil independence to roll the dice on safety.
They run 150 ton tank cars on 8000 foot trains with skeletal crews, well dictated by the profit motive.
An alliance of railway workers, environmentalists, and blast zone citizens can force a safer method of transporting crude oil.
Begin by signing the linked petition asking the Federal Railroad Administration to enforce railroad health and safety rules.
Please sign the petition at
I dread to imagine what Seattle could look like in a few years if this just gets worse. Downtown will be burned to a husk from derailed oil trains and our water will be tinted black from the Shell rig. Our already cloudy sky will take on a brown hue, and our reputation will become that of acid rain. Say goodbye to the glorious pacific salmon, although you taste so good and you feed our economy we're going to let you become extinct to quench our thirst for oil. But on the bright side, no one will have to consider greener energy alternatives and the corporations will have made record profits yet again.
I'm not sure if @4 is hyperbole or not, but train fires are no joke. I saw the aftermath of (and a great deal of live coverage too) the Lynchburg, VA fire. I also live near, fish, swim and canoe in the James River, alongside which the tracks where that fire burned runs. No clear accounting (there is an accounting, but it doesn't all add it) of the total amount of oil spilled into the river has ever been produced, but we were lucky that only one car really spilled, and the fire burned itself out (firefighters couldn't put it out) without doing too much damage to the city downtown. These things really are a bomb waiting to go off.
Not at all hyperbolic. I love Seattle and I hate to see what our elected officials are letting happen to it.
Get rid of all the oil trains. There is no safe speed they can move through the city that won't completely block movement through the city.
All the more reason for WA State legislature to pass Governor request legislation, HB 1449 concerning oil transportation safety. WA Fire Chiefs letter of concern echo two critical provisions that take real action in HB1449. First is comprehensive advance public disclosure of oil being transported through their communities and neighborhoods including pipelines. Info includes volume, type of oil, route taken, number of rail cars, and volume and number of oil spills en route. Second is expanding financial responsibility requirements to include rail and that carriers of oil must demonstrate they have enough money/insurance coverage to cover worst case spill.
Hey, out of state readers, tell your US Senators to support The Crude-By-Rail Safety Act of 2015:
@4 man that would make a great dystopian SF game
@4 Are you on some drugs? Oil has been coming through Seattle for about 60 years, get over your drama queen stuff.
@11 die in fire of spilled Bakken shale oil, troll

It's more flammable than the oil that's moved through the region in the past and is also coming in greater volumes. We aren't prepared for a large spill and conflagration. http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/in…