Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants oil trains to slow down and safety improvements to speed up. Inslee said Wednesday that he personally delivered that message to the CEO of Union Pacific and the executive chairman of BNSF over the last 48 hours.
“I’ve urged them to adopt safer cars now; I’ve urged them to reduce speeds now; and I’ve urged them to consider electronic braking systems now,” Inslee said. “They should do these things now before we have further accidents and I will continue to urge them to do that.”
Inslee’s comments follow last Friday’s oil train derailment and fire in the Columbia River Gorge.
Federal rules now require new oil tank cars be built to a higher standard with older cars being retrofitted over time. The rules also require electronic braking for longer oil trains, but not until 2021.
The current allowed top speed for oil trains is 50 miles an hour, 40 in urban areas.