Oil Carrier Reaches Safety Inspection Agreement with Feds


Union Pacific Railway, hit by millions in fines and penalties from the Federal Railroad Administration for hundreds of potential safety violations has agreed to more thorough inspections and maintenance improvements following a fiery oil train derailment in Oregon.

The Associated Press reports the agreement was a direct result of the early June derailment of 16 tank cars from a Union Pacific train loaded with North Dakota crude. It happened as the train was passing through the Columbia River Gorge along a curve in the tracks near Mosier, Oregon. The massive fire burned for 14 hours and resulted in the evacuation of nearby residential areas.

Fines against Union Pacific and other railroad operators were reported earlier in the week by OK Energy Today.

An investigation by federal agents determined the railroad did not follow its inspection rules to make sure the track was safe. Investigators said a closer inspection would have discovered a series of broken bolts that allowed the rails to move too far apart.

The more than 800 potential violations against Union Pacific were found as part of a two-year examination of tracks across the U.S. used to haul crude. The violations include some of the same lax inspection problems blamed in the Mosier derailment, federal officials said. Enforcement actions against the company have not been finalized.


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