Close Call on Philly Oil Train Derailment Fuels Calls for Safety

  • A CSX unit train delivers a load of crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philadelphia. Photo: Nat Hamilton, WHYY News

January 22, 2014
By Katie Colaneri

It could be a few more days before crews finish clearing derailed train cars, including five crude oil tankers, from a bridge over the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

As of Tuesday evening, crews were working continuously in snowfall to transfer oil from the derailed cars to empty tank cars nearby on the same tracks, according to the rail company CSX.

“CSX’s priority is on safety and the environmentally responsible transfer operation,” spokeswoman Melanie Cost said in an e-mailed update.

The 101-car train was traveling from Chicago to a refinery in South Philadelphia when seven of the cars slid off the tracks on the Schuylkill Arsenal Bridge around 12:30 a.m. Monday.

It was one of several trains that bring tens of thousands of barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to Philadelphia Energy Solutions every week. After a string of more serious rail accidents involving crude in other parts of the country, the incident has amplified local concerns about the safety of these trains.

Continue reading...