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I thought most of the North Dakota crude was coming to the coast via a more northern route through British Columbia.
Yes, oil trains have already derailed in Seattle (Interbay; no spill fortunately) http://crosscut.com/2014/07/oil-train-de…
What is the slowest speed at which an oil explosion could happen?
An oil tank car can catch fire and explode in an accident at zero miles per hour. Assuming a slightly raised rail bed, an oil car that tips over while standing still (this can and has happened on poorly maintained rails) will strike the ground going approximately 16 miles per hour – more than fast enough to breach the tank, spark, and ignite if it hits a rock, a curb, any hard protrusion.
@12 GlibReaper: Thank you for being among those telling it like it is.
I did indeed read the article in The Seattle Times, and about spat up my breakfast about what almost happened. It's only a matter of when disaster strikes and how prepared we really are NOT.