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The West Virginia Wake-up Call Over ‘Bomb Trains’


The West Virginia Wake-up Call Over ‘Bomb Trains’

Jared Margolis

The derailment and fiery explosion of an oil train in West Virginia this week was a frightening reminder of the dangers these trains pose every day along thousands of miles of track across the United States.

And it’s only getting worse. Since 2008, oil-by-rail transport has grown 40-fold and we’ve seen a troubling spike in oil spills, derailments and environmental devastation. We’ve yet to see federal regulators respond to these escalating risks.


Just collateral damage in the war for profits.


Good coverage on this here as well,


Easier to block a train than turn off a pipeline!
Remembering the valor of Brian Wilson right now.


One of my top ten heroes of all time.

“It seems that the military had decided that nonviolent protesters did not exist, that everywhere in the world the only tool available was violence. Therefore, Willson must be a violent terrorist. Therefore, he and his companions must be planning to jump aboard the train. Therefore, the train must speed up and stop for nothing and nobody. That was the order given. The other protesters moved out of the way in time. Willson, sitting cross-legged, could not. The train ran him over. And then the men driving the train sued Wilson for causing them to suffer post traumatic stress.
But something else happened too. Hundreds of people ripped up the track and built a monument out of the railroad ties. People formed blockades of trains on that track for years to come. Every train and nearly every truck was blocked until January 1990. Celebrities showed up and held rallies. Ronald Reagan’s daughter wrote a kind letter to Willson, as did professional sports teams and other big whigs congratulating him on his courageous stand. And similar actions sprang up around the country. Visiting Nicaragua, Willson was treated as a national hero.”


Sometimes factors other than how a train is made up, or the type of cars in it are the cause of accidents like this. This train supposedly consisted of the newly redesigned tank cars for carrying crude oil. Obviously, they are not as leak resistant as they should be either.

If this was not a human factor accident - i.e. the fault of the operating crew - then my primary guess as to the cause, as someone who was a railroader, is broken rail caused by the sudden drop in temperature over the prior 24 hours, due to the extreme polar blast that came through the area. Sudden drops in temperature can exacerbate any existing defect in a piece of rail and cause it to fail under the load of a passing train. Railroads, including CSX, regularly run inspections trains over all of their mainlines on a regular basis - probably around every six months or so - looking for such defects. The problem is that wear fatigue can happen between inspections, and defects develop that don’t become apparent until they fail. If a rail defect was the cause, then whatever train was next to go over that area would have derailed. If it had been a general merchandise train, it would only have been a local story. There’s a lot of railroad derailments every day, most you don’t hear about nationally because they are not that spectacular. No form of transportation is perfect, but railroads are better and safer than most overall.


What is it with you people in the United States? Events that happen in Canada are given little or no recognition. Note the title of this article “West Virginia Wake-Up Call over ‘Bomb Trains’”. Wakeup call? Really? What about the Lac Megantique disaster a year ago in Quebec where a derailment of a train carrying Bakken crude caused a fire in the centre of this village that killed over 40 people. A year ago. You don’t call that a wake up call? Or don’t you follow what goes on north of the 49th parallel?


Even us Americans cannot figure out what is wrong with the Americans.

Essentially, we became intellectually lazy and bought into the fantasy that we were superior when the rest of the planet was bombed to hell after WW II. We coined this bullshit term " American exceptionalism". Well over half the nation believes this lie.

The rest you can blame on television and Edward Bernays.
We have always been a gullible people.


Hmmmm… Let’s consider something written here, such as this Appalachian fellow sees this:

“The reality is that there’s no way to safely transport the highly volatile crude from the Bakken oil field in North Dakota or the heavy crudes from the Alberta tar sands. Instead these extreme fossil fuels should be left in the ground for our safety and to avoid the impending climate catastrophe.”

These people should really admit why pipelines aren’t built. Warren Buffett, one of their “friends”, owns the BNSF Rail Road as well of Electromotive Locomotive Works. Does anyone with a lick of sense really believe that he, a really BIG Democrat, wants anything built that will gut some of his biggest holdings? Nope, movers and shakers such as Mr. Buffet always have their agitprops to tell what the other useful idiots should believe. Yep, believe what Warren Buffett have to say and you can be a superhero by saving the world, too!

I really doubt that the people of West Virginia would take the precepts of this article very seriously, or any other such commentaries advocating the outlawing of oil and coal. In fact, in the 2014 election for congress NOT A SINGLE COUNTY was carried by ANY candidate in the Democratic Party which is expressively against anything unless their people make a profit off of it. These people already have this more figured out than those rich lily-white Harvard folks.