Minnesota governor discusses railway safety

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Following a collision between a commercial vehicle and an oil train, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith met with officials in Saint Paul Park on Tuesday.

During the meeting, officials discussed the risks associated with the transport of oil and other hazardous materials through the state. An earlier study by the state's Department of Transportation indicated the intersection of the collision to be especially dangerous and in need of safety enhancements.

Dayton had previously proposed a funding package that would support the implementation of railway safety measures and increasing the capabilities of first response personnel in the case of an accident.

“Minnesota’s crowded railways bring very serious threats to the safety of citizens throughout our state,” Dayton said. “Unfortunately, the very limited transportation and bonding bills agreed to by House Republicans do not fund improvements in many of the most dangerous rail crossings in the state. I will continue to support investments that improve railway safety throughout Minnesota.”

Construction of an alternate access road is scheduled to begin in the area of the collision.

The plan proposed by Dayton and Smith would allocate funding to 71 safety improvements on the state's railways and would appoint a Rail Office Director. The position would focus on freight rail services and enforce rail safety regulations.

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City of St. Paul Park

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