Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Schumer Calls On Feds to Retrofit Rail Cars Toting Oil

Senator Chuck Schumer is urging the federal Railroad Administration to come up with a plan to upgrade or replace tank cars that carry crude oil and ethanol.

This is in light of the recent derailment and explosion of a 72-car freight train carrying oil in Canada. Schumer says the DOT 111 cars are prone to spills, tears and fires, if the freight train were to jump the tracks.
Because of this, the Senator says increased safety measures between Rochester and Albany must be taken by the Department of Transportation.

"Derailment doesn't happen every day," Schumer says. "But when it does, it can be real dangerous, and because so much of our CSX goes right through populated areas, this is a real danger."

Between 100 to 200 of the DOT 111 tank cars travel through Rochester every day. That main rail line goes through many residential neighborhoods as well as freight yards.

Schumer says it would cost about $15-thousand for railroad operations to retrofit freight cars. He says they wouldn't have to replace all of their cars, many could be leased to the mid-west and the west, where they carry much less flammable material such as corn oil.

The Senator says the goal is to prevent derailments and other accidents from happening. For instance in 2007, a CSX freight train derailed sending 13 cars hanging over the overpass at South Lincoln Road in East Rochester.

Schumer says he spoke with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx who is considering his concerns. He says he anticipates a federal ruling on the matter later this year.