FRA reveals cause of Mount Carbon derailment

FRA reveals cause of Mount Carbon derailment.
FRA reveals cause of Mount Carbon derailment.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently revealed the cause of the CSX/Plains All American derailment on Feb. 16 in Mount Carbon, as well as the association’s plans to stop any similar accidents from happening in the future; the accident caused 27 cars to derail, the evacuation of hundreds of local residents and a fire that burned for several days afterward.

The FRA conducted an investigation and determined that a broken rail with a vertical split head rail defect caused the derailment. This defect had been missed by CSX as well as Sperry Rail Service on two different inspections prior to the accident.

The FRA said that in order to avoid any future accidents, it will publish a Safety Advisory for more thorough inspections as well as better training specifically dedicated to rail inspection vehicle operators.

“Our country relies on the safe transportation of large quantities of energy products across the nation, and it is our responsibility to require operators to implement strict safety standards,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “FRA’s findings and action today should make it clear to rail operators that we will do exactly that.”

The FRA has taken the lead in making these changes.

“When we see a need for action, we will take it, and that is what FRA is doing today,” FRA Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg said. “Broken rail is one of the leading causes of accidents. Railroads moving crude and other hazardous materials through and alongside communities bear significant and special responsibility. All railroads, not just CSX, must be more diligent when inspecting for internal rail flaws or when contracting out inspection work. This is just our latest effort to increase the safe transportation of crude and other energy products.”

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Federal Railroad Administration

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