Mosier Objects To Restarting Rail Traffic

The ECOreport looks at why, in the wake of an oil-by-rail fire,  Mosier Objects To Restarting Rail Traffic.

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1Mosier’s sewer system was still turned off this morning. Some of the derailed oil cars still sit beside the tracks, where the town’s fifteen volunteer fire fighters fought to contain the fire throughout Friday and into the night. The town’s acquirers were depleted during the battle. Now Union Pacific wants to resume normal operations but, until they can explain the cause of the accident, Mosier Objects To Restarting Rail Traffic.

Mosier Objects To Restarting Rail Traffic

A participant at the anti-oil -by-rail rally in Hood River, Saturday - Courtesy Columbia Riverkeeper
A participant at the anti-oil -by-rail rally in Hood River, Saturday – Courtesy Columbia Riverkeeper

In a special council meeting this afternoon, Mosier passed a motion objecting to Union Pacific’s plans to restart train traffic. The City sent out a press release stating they are  “calling on Union Pacific, as well as Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon’s Congressional delegation to:

  1. Remove all oil from derailed cars prior to starting any train traffic in light of the risk of igniting the damaged oil train cars;
  2. Complete the investigation determining what went wrong and have it fixed before any oil train or other high risk train traffic resumes.

“The City of Mosier strongly objects to Union Pacific’s plans to restart running trains, including oil trains, as early as tonight through the derailment site where damaged oil tankers continue to sit feet from newly laid railroad track,” says Arlene Burns, Mayor, City of Mosier. “Restarting trains before the high-risk carnage of their last accident is even cleared from the tracks is telling Mosier they are going to play a second round of Russian roulette without our town -it’s totally unacceptable.”

Everyone Wants To See Traffic Restarted BUT

Railway cars pulled to the side of the road - from Mosier's press release
Railway cars pulled to the side of the road – from Mosier’s press release

“Everyone wants to see train traffic restarted, but we are very concerned about the safety of our town. The new tracks will be no safer than before the derailment and now we have tens of thousands of gallons of oil sitting in damaged rail tankers just feet away from the proposed new active track,” says Mosier City Council President Emily Reed. “They do not yet know what happened in this section of track to cause the accident on Friday so on what basis can they safely re-start running oil trains down this same section of track? This is literally hundreds of feet from our homes and school.”

Top Photo Credit: Derailed railway cars at Mosier – Courtesy State of Washington Department of Ecology

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