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BNSF 6 articles

BNSF Pays Illinois $50,000 Civil Penalty For 2015 Oil Train Derailment

Railroad giant BNSF has agreed to pay $50,000 in civil penalties for a 2015 oil train derailment in Galena, Illinois, that released several thousand gallons of oil , triggered a  massive fire that burned for days, and forced the evacuation of area residents. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the settlement resolves environmental concerns triggered by the March 2015 derailment and spill, which Delaware-based BNSF was court-ordered to clean and monitor. Nobody was injured by the derailment, but the accident released about 30,000 gallons of crude oil, contaminating the ground and threatening local water sources, including the Galena and Mississippi ... Read More

Final Report on 2013 North Dakota oil train crash faults defective axle in other train

Federal investigators released a final report Feb. 7 on a fiery oil train derailment and spill that forced the evacuation of Casselton, North Dakota, blaming the disaster on a defective axle on another train. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the Dec. 30, 2013, derailment and crash occurred when a defective axle broke on a BNSF train hauling soybeans, forcing a section of the train to derail. Two men aboard the oil train told investigators that heavy, blowing snow obscured the tracks from their vision shortly before they saw a derailed train car lying across the tracks. The men ... Read More

BNSF Railroad Ordered To Compensate Worker Fired For Reporting Track Defects

Federal safety regulators have ordered BNSF Railroad to pay a former track inspector more the $147,000 in back pay and damages after an investigation determined the company fired the employee in retaliation for reporting railroad track defects to management. BNSF, an international railroad operator headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, violated the Federal Railroad Safety Act’s whistleblower protections by firing the inspector for insubordination after he reported the defects, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said. “BNSF employees have the right to protect their safety and that of other employees and the public without fear of retaliation by their employer,” ... Read More

Amtrak, BNSF sue Cattle Feed Company Over Kansas Train Derailment

Amtrak and BNSF Railway Company have filed a lawsuit against a Cimarron, Kansas, cattle feed company whose truck allegedly damaged the railroad tracks in southwestern Kansas and caused a Chicago-bound passenger train to derail last month. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Kansas, accuses Cimarron Crossing Feeders LLC of negligence in damaging the tracks and seeks more than $75,000 in damages. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the March 14 derailment, which injured 32 passengers, including at least two critically, tracing fresh tire tracks in the area of the damaged track back to the Cimarron Crossings feed truck ... Read More

Kansas Amtrak Derailment Critically Injures Two; Damaged Track Suspected

Federal investigators said an Amtrak train engineer noticed a deformity in the railroad tracks and pulled the brakes shortly before several cars derailed and toppled over in southwest Kansas early Monday morning, critically injuring two passengers. The Amtrak derailment occurred just after midnight a couple miles outside of Cimarron, a small rural Kansas community between Wichita and Amarillo, Texas. The train line, which Amtrak calls the Southwest Chief, was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago when it derailed. Amtrak reported that 32 people were taken to local hospitals and treated mostly for minor injuries. A number of people spoke to ... Read More

OSHA announces updated whistleblower retaliation laws for railroad, public transit industries

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employees in the railroad and public transit sectors now have finalized rules for how to properly submit whistleblower retaliation complaints to the federal agency. Investigate West, a nonprofit news organization concentrating on public health, safety and environmental problems in the U.S., recently published a report on the top 10 employers receiving whistleblower retaliation complaints from their employees. More than half of those employers were in the railroad industry. More than 2,000 whistleblower retaliation complaints have been received by OSHA between June 2007 and June 2015 from railroad workers. At the top of Investigate ... Read More