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Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad

Tank cars involved in UP derailment met new standards

The freight cars of the Union Pacific Railroad crude-oil train that derailed late last week in Oregon were jacketed CPC-1232s with full-height head shields, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced yesterday.

The westbound train was transporting tank cars loaded with Bakken crude oil when 16 cars derailed at 12:20 p.m. June 3 in Mosier, Ore. Crude oil was released from at least one car, and several cars then caught on fire.

The crude oil being transported had a vapor pressure of 9.2, according to the FRA.

Local, state and federal officials continue to investigate the cause of the incident.

Damaged equipment is being rerailed and the product from the damaged cars is being off-loaded, FRA officials said. The fire was extinguished at 2 a.m. June 4. An evacuation order for residents living within 1/4 mile of the derailment was lifted June 4.

The train had three locomotives and 96 rail cars, said UP spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza in a report to local news media. UP is cooperating with air quality and other contractors at the scene, she said. Runoff sheen was evident in a nearby river, and "we are investigating the source and doing everything we can to contain it," she said.

Another UP train passed through the area with no issues or exceptions about two hours before the derailment occurred, Espinoza said. The track was last inspected May 31, she said.

UP has shipped about 89,000 carloads of crude oil in its 23-state network. Crude oil represents about 1 percent of the shipments that the Class I moves, according to Espinoza.

A YouTube video of Espinoza's comments can be found here.


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