* Crude train speeds cut to 25 miles per hour
* Inspections of rails increased
Feb 11 U.S. railway Genesee & Wyoming Inc
has cut speeds of trains moving crude oil and increased
inspections in the aftermath of a fiery derailment involving one
of its trains in rural Alabama last year, Chief Operating
Officer David Brown told analysts on Tuesday.
Twenty-five railcars carrying crude that were part of a
90-car train derailed in early November near Aliceville,
Alabama, causing an explosion and an oil spill into a wetland
Genesee said at the time that data recorders showed the
train was going slower than the 40-miles-per-hour (65 kph) speed
limit. Brown told analysts during a quarterly earnings call on
Tuesday that the company has cut speeds to 25 mph and increased
"We have implemented some additional operating precautions
which are just preventative in nature," he said.
The Alabama derailment and fire is among several accidents
in recent months involving crude trains that have increased
regulatory scrutiny and focused attention on safety issues.
No one was hurt in the Alabama incident, but the worst by
far was the crash of a runaway train in a small Quebec town last
July, igniting explosions and fires that killed 47 people.
Brown said Genesee has increased inspections of crude train
transfers from other railroads to its own, and now examine
tracks that carry crude trains twice weekly rather than once per
week. The company also increased annual rail testing to take
place each quarter.
Executives also told analysts that product volumes shipped
in the fourth quarter last year rose 16 percent largely because
of crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas shipments.