Another week, another train derailment. This time, it was a Canadian Pacific train that derailed and caught fire in Maine. The incident, which took place in a wooded area, caused a small forest fire. Fortunately, there were no injuries, and the hazardous materials onboard did not pose a risk to public safety.
A freight train hauling hazardous materials derailed in rural Maine — sparking a fire in the process. Officials said none of the cars carrying hazardous materials were involved in the blaze. https://t.co/SplPZajCy7 pic.twitter.com/Vphv9II6lV
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 16, 2023
This is not an isolated incident. Train derailments have been on the rise in the US, occurring in states such as Ohio, Alabama, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. In response, Congress and federal regulators are calling for more action to prevent these types of incidents, which appear to be increasing.
Several cars on a freight train derailed and caught fire early Saturday in rural #Maine, officials and the train operator said.
3 workers were hurt, but their injuries were said not to be life-threatening. https://t.co/R9CGsfwOjr
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) April 16, 2023
What’s Causing the Derailments? In the case of the Maine derailment, reports indicate that it may have been caused by a track washout due to a build-up of melting ice and debris. However, the causes of other derailments remain unclear.
Some speculate that train companies are practicing what’s called precision scheduled railroading, which involves cutting back on maintenance and redirecting funds to shareholders. This could be putting more strain on the railways, leading to an increase in accidents.
Another derailment in USA: A freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed near Rockwood, Maine.
Information about victims and the type of materials that the train transported has not yet been given pic.twitter.com/eVrazpF2RY
— Spriter (@Spriter99880) April 15, 2023
What is Being Done About It? In response to the recent incidents, rail companies and regulators are taking action to improve safety measures. The new joint company between Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern aims to be the first and only single-line railway connecting Canada, the United States, and Mexico. The companies have also committed to investing in their infrastructure and technology to improve safety.
Meanwhile, federal regulators are working to enforce existing regulations and implement new ones. The Federal Railroad Administration has recently proposed new regulations on train speed limits and crew size. These regulations aim to reduce the risk of accidents and improve response times in the event of an incident.