October 9, 2015 | LA Times| Facing a surge of oil train crashes caused by track defects over the last three years, the Federal Railroad Administration said Friday it was taking steps to improve the condition of the rails across the nation.
Agency chief Sarah Feinberg says she wants the railroad industry to conduct more intensive on-the-ground rail inspections and would consider a new rule to establish federal standards on rail wear, a measure the industry has opposed in the past.
The measures were outlined in Mount Carbon, W.Va., site of a massive CSX derailment earlier this year that spilled 378,000 gallons of crude from North Dakota, caused the evacuation of 1,100 residents and burned down a home. The fires raged at the site for two days.
The crash was caused by a vertical crack in the railhead, a defect that CSX had missed twice in inspections in the prior months, according to an investigation report released by the agency Friday.