Most drivers in Norfolk, Virginia have crossed a railroad track or two during their commute, some drivers may even have had the misfortune of being stopped by the train on the way to work, and had to wait as tanker after tanker car zipped by. But have you really stopped to think what is being transported inside of all those tankers? Many of those containers are full of crude oil. A new report by CSX railroad quantifies the exact amount to millions of gallons. That is millions of gallons of a highly flammable substance that travel throughout Virginia every week. CSX is also the company who had oil tanker cars derail and burst into flames in downtown Lynchburg last year.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Monday issued a set of “urgent” recommendations for replacing controversial oil train cars more quickly than federal regulators planned. The Obama administration has moved to require older crude oil freight rail cars that have been involved in a series of high-profile crashes to be replaced within 10 years. A NTSB chairman said that the tank cars, known as DOT-111s, are too dangerous to leave on the rails for that long.
As Virginia railroad injury lawyers we have watched with interest the growing controversy and safety standards that are required for the new railroad cars. However after reading about a recent railroad derailment that involved the new “safer” upgraded cars we believe the upgrade may not be enough to protect railroad employees and the public should an oil train derail. The reason being is that the CPC 1232 cars are supposed to be tougher than the old DOT-111 cars, yet nine or 10 cars on the CSX train in West Virginia that recently exploded in flames were the new upgraded “safer” cars.
Our Norfolk, VA railroad injury lawyers have worked with many clients who have been hurt by careless railroad companies. We recently won a $650,000 verdict for a former CSX worker who was injured in a CSX train accident a few years ago. In that case and in others, we have seen corporations put profits before safety.