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Should hazmat trains be rerouted outside D.C.?

(The following article by Hank Silverberg was posted on the WTOP Radio website on November 2.)

WASHINGTON -- Freight trains traveling through the city, many near the U.S. Capitol, have been a concern since Sept. 11. Now, there is a serious effort underway to reroute the trains outside the city.

The National Capitol Planning Commission is the midst of a study looking at alternative routes.

Possible routes include along the Route 301 corridor in the east or at Point of Rocks to the west, says Dave Zaidain, who has been working on the options.

Rerouting the trains would not only get hazardous material away from the heart of the city, but could be beneficial to commuter rails, because they would no longer have to share tracks, Zaidain says.

In the meantime, officials are installing infrared cameras within the next year along the 8.1 miles of railroad track through the District.

The cameras will be able to detect trespassers or any kind of hazardous material along the way.

Friday, November 3, 2006

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