Rail

WASHINGTON — More can be done to boost the safety of moving oil by rail by focusing on the tracks themselves, according to a white paper released Thursday by a group promoting infrastructure investments.

New rules requiring more resilient tank cars are an important step, said the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure, but regulators, railroads and shippers now need to more aggressively combat the leading cause of derailments, including broken rail and human error.

From integrity sensors to measurement systems, an array of technologies can help ensure tracks are sound, said Brigham McCown, chairman of the alliance and a former head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

“We tend to be reactionary. Something happened, so what are we going to do to fix it?” McCown told reporters Thursday. “We focus on the accident, rather than focusing on a long-term proactive engagement of reducing the potential for accidents to begin with.”

Read more on the Houston Chronicle.