Accident Reconstruction Expert Witnesses & Train Derailments

What areas of accident reconstruction may railroad accident expert witnesses consult on? They may write reports and testify on train derailments, track/switch operation, maintenance-of-way issues, and collisions.  Nearly 3 billion gallons of crude oil will move through the state of Washington on trains this year. The Spokesman-Review reports that the volume could triple within five years, “as highly flammable crude from North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields is shipped to refineries and ports in Western Washington, Oregon and California.”

Dale Jensen, a manager for the Department of Ecology’s spill program stated that oil tankers entering Washington ports must report the volume of oil, type of oil product and its characteristics. “We want the same thing from the railroad,” Jensen said.

In 2013, 73 driver-less train cars claimed the lives of 47 people in Lac-Mégantic in Eastern Quebec, Canada,  at a time when energy companies have increasingly turned to rail cars as opposed to pipelines.

About Karen Olson

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