rail

Originally posted on Bloomberg, article written by Thomas Black and Jim Snyder.

Video images of a fireball billowing from the wreckage of a derailed train hauling Bakken crude are adding to pressure on federal regulators to act on new safety standards for oil shipments.

While there were no fatalities in the CSX Corp. accident in rural West Virginia on Monday, the footage of flames and smoke rekindles public alarm over the prospect of tank cars rumbling through urban areas, according to a former U.S. Transportation Department official and a railroad consultant.

“It weakens the railroad’s and the industry’s ability to argue on the merits” to shape any government decision, Brigham McCown, a former chief of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, said by phone Tuesday. “In Washington, D.C., perception is reality. Railroads have to get a handle on what’s causing these derailments and they have to fix it.”