Crude by Rail – the Story Behind the Fiery Derailments

Karen Darch - Crude by Rail

Karen Darch – Crude by Rail


Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Riverside Township Hall





Shanks to all who were able to attend. In case you missed it, the lecture has been recorded and can be viewed on YouTube at the following link:

View the YouTube Video

Since 47 people were killed in a small Quebec town by a runaway train hauling crude oil in July 2013, public attention has been focusing on the dangers associated with the rail transport of flammable hazmat. Barrington Village President Karen Darch will be providing an overview on the issue, and what federal regulators have been doing to respond to the inherent dangers of making the North American freight rail network a rolling pipeline for highly dangerous commodities.

Since 2008, Mayor Darch has served as the co-chair of the TRAC Coalition of local governments. TRAC has advocated for safety improvements in the rail transport of combustible hazmat following a CN ethanol train derailment in 2009 that resulted in one death and several injuries. A government report on that accident reiterated a 1991 NTSB finding that the tank cars used to transport flammable commodities are defective and have a greater than average tendency to breach in derailments. As a result, Barrington & TRAC jointly filed an April 2012 rulemaking petition before federal regulators asking that they act forcefully to improve the safety of the tank car fleet. Since 2012, Mayor Darch has been alerting other local elected leaders to the inherent dangers of these tank cars, been making the case for improved safety-related measures to regulators and Congress, and has been the lead local government liaison to national media speaking out on the issue of rail safety.