7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Information
Secretary-Treasurer
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

Investigators: Terror trains

(The following article was posted on Fresno television station CBS Channel 47’s website on April 28. Gary Watkins is BLET Division 553 Legislative Representative. Division 553 is located in Calwa City, Calif.)

FRESNO, Calif. -- Millions of tons of hazardous chemicals are transported on trains every year. Here in Fresno those trains move right through our neighborhoods and downtown.

Could these trains become terrorist targets? If so, what is Fresno doing to prevent such an attack? CBS 47's Allison Ash investigated.

Since 9-11, security has been raised around the country. We now experience increased airport security, bag searches at baseball games and required identification to book travel plans. But some people are afraid we are over-looking a serious threat... the railroad.

A new government report says just one attack on a train car of chlorine could kill 100,000 people in a half hour's time. That's roughly one-quarter of Fresno's population. For that reason many large cities around the country have considered limiting hazardous cargo trains from entering their city. But here in Fresno, that may not be practical. The city is actually built around the tracks.

CBS 47 went to the train tracks on the edge of downtown. There was no fence, no rail police or security. We hung around for over a half-hour and no one questioned why we were there or what we were doing.

Veteran railroad engineer Gary Watkins says not enough is being done to secure the railroads.

"It boils down to money. Pure and simple, the transportation security administration has spent something like twenty billion dollars since 2001, of which maybe 250 million went to rail security."

Is Fresno's fire department prepared for an attack on a hazardous train car? Battalion Chief Chuck Tobias says their haz-mat response team is well trained and on-call around the clock. However, he admits there are some things that a crew can't prepare for...

"There's nothing we can do to patch up a tank car that has a catastrophic release, and in fact if there was a catastrophic release, what is remaining is coming out all at once."

For more information: http://www.teamster.org/divisions/rail/pdfs/railsecuritybook.pdf
http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/FreightRailSecurityActionItemsFinal.pdf
Powerful video: http://www.cbs47.tv/mediacenter/?videoID=44017

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2019 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts

DAILY HEADLINES

AAR: Rail traffic down again for week ending August 17, 2019
David Koch, anti-union billionaire, dies at age 79
Canada, U.S. expand preclearance agreement to include cargo
Bakken oil pipeline flows hit six-month high as rail to East Coast drops
BNSF works to derail Oklahoma’s new law to prevent blocked crossings
Gov. Murphy orders NJ Transit to release monthly rail performance metrics
STB moves to rehab outdated Uniform Rail Costing System
Short Line association tells DOT, “we’re important, too”
Amtrak Cascades route to get $38 million for new rail cars
Rail, infrastructure gains give Canadian grain shippers reason for optimism
RRB Q&A: Unemployment and sickness benefits for railroad employees
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines