Railroad Safety Expert Witnesses

What types of railroad safety issues may experts opine on?  Railroad safety expert witnesses may report and consult on federal regulations, maintenance practices, derailment and accident investigations, and more.  On May 7,2014, The U.S. Department of Transportation issued an emergency order to petroleum crude oil railroad carriers requiring railroads to notify state officials about the volume, frequency and county-by-county routes of trains carrying 1 million or more gallons of crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada.  BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad subsequently sent states confidentiality agreements aimed at restricting information to emergency response groups for planning purposes only.  The AP lists North Dakota as one of the states that have thus far refused to sign, along with Wisconsin, Montana, Illinois, Idaho and Washington.

Emergency order 2014-0067

This notice constitutes an Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order (Order) by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT; Department) pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5121(d).  This Order is issued to all railroad carriers that transport in a single train in commerce within the United States, 1,000,000 gallons or more of UN 1267, Petroleum crude oil, Class 3, sourced from the Bakken shale formation in the Williston Basin (Bakken crude oil).  By this Order, DOT is requiring that each railroad carrier provide the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) for each state in which it operates trains transporting 1,000,000 gallons or more of Bakken crude oil, notification regarding the expected movement of such trains through the counties in the state.  The notification shall identify each county, or a particular state or commonwealth’s equivalent jurisdiction (e.g., Louisiana parishes, Alaska boroughs, Virginia independent cities) (county), in the state through which the trains will operate.

About Karen Olson

Information Professional with twenty years experience in legal, public record, and business research. Fifteen years law firm experience.

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