US, Canada unveil rules to boost oil train safety

AP photo

AP photo

WASHINGTON (AP) _ New safety rules are coming for oil trains to reduce the risk of fiery crashes like the one in Lynchburg one year ago. The requirements by U.S. and Canadian officials include stronger tank cars. The rules require tank cars within 5 years to have an outer shell, a thermal lining and thicker steel walls to prevent them from rupturing in an accident. Most oil trains also must have electronically controlled brakes by 2021 that stop all a train’s cars at the same time, instead of sequentially. The oil industry has opposed the stronger tank car design, while railroads have fought the new braking requirements. Both have billions of dollars on the line. There’ve been dozens of fiery oil train crashes in recent years, including one that killed 47 people in Canada.

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