Railroad union urges tougher safety standards on tracks

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 27, 2015 1:08 AM

Photo by AP Photo/ Office of the Governor of West Virginia, Steven Wayne Rotsch,File

(Philadelphia) -- Union officials say tougher inspection and maintenance standards for railroad tracks could help prevent dangerous derailments of trains carrying crude oil

While lawmakers and regulators focus on the strength of oil tank cars and volatility of crude oil, officials of the rail inspectors' union say track flaws and train speed can be significant factors in accidents.

Rick Inclima of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees says the focus should be on preventing derailments. 

Inclima is on a safety advisory panel of the Federal Railroad Administration, which says 39 percent of last year's 1,220 train derailments were caused by track flaws. 

The Association of American Railroads, which represents major freight rail companies, says the industry had its safest year in 2014.  

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