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Crude oil train derails west of La Salle

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LA SALLE, Colo. — Six cars of a 100-car crude train derailed near Le Salle, Colo. Friday.

Clean up crews were on scene to clear the derailment. Some crude oil leaked into a ditch, officials said.

The train loaded in Windsor with Niobara crude and was headed to New York. The cars derailed around 8 a.m., officials said.

RELATED: Lack of funding, territorial disputes allowing for crumbling railroad bridges in Colorado

It’s not yet known why the train derailed, reported the Greeley Tribune.

Union Pacific Spokesman Mark Davis said the spill was contained in a ditch and no waterway was threatened.

A vacuum truck was ordered to help suck up the oil.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall released a statement saying the spill is an example of why he has been pressing for the Department of Transportation to update train-safety regulations for cars carrying crude oil.

“While we are fortunate there was not an explosion, this incident in Weld County shows why I have been fighting so hard to have the U.S. Department of Transportation update its safety regulations,” Udall said. “The federal government needs to do more.”


  • S2

    Yea lets have the Fed run the R.R.’s, and healthcare.. why not just everything, what could possibly go wrong. (Sarcasam)

      • Juan Dia

        WRONG! The Feds AKA the F.R.A. or Federal Railroad Administration DO NOT RUN the railroads. They regulate the various safety aspects of this nations railroads.

  • Mark

    Well, Senator, I strongly disagree. The railroads are perfectly able to take care of themselves if only for the potential loss of revenue from a derailment. The Feds ARE NOT the solution to every problem!!

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s interesting that Udall’s solution is more Federal involvement when the cause of the accident is not even known.

  • J

    The Feds already and have been running the RR. Any tracks are federal property. FRA : Fedral RailRoad Administration. Google it.

    • Juan Dia

      Boy, whatever you’re smoking, you need to back off. The FRA or the Federal Government, neither one “owns” or “runs” any of the Class 1 Carriers. You, as a US citizen, are paying for Amtrak. That’s it. Nothing else. Google that.

  • todd M

    That is Udall’s instant response to insulate himself against his Keystone pipeline stance. What a mind numbed 2 cent idiot he is. And have you noticed how Udall is quoted here yet the opposing side is not. It seems pretty sure to me there is some journalistic favoritism on this news web site. It is not the first time i’ve seen a editorial masquerading as a news story on this FOX31 web site.

  • The Truth

    While Udall says blah, there are thousands of these railcars moving through Colorado every day, through most towns on the front range, instead of OKing the Keystone Pipeline. He’s a creep.

  • The Truth

    Time to write the Denver Post about the thousands of tank cars moving through Colorado every day. I worked for the Burlington Northern years ago. I majored in Logistics and transportation as an undergraduate. I managed tank car fleets for shippers for 10 years plus. The oil should be moving via pipeline, the XL Pipeline. Cheapest and safest way to move the stuff. Udall, Bennet, and Obama are soiling Colorado folks, real simple to see. They are not Environmntally friendly, they are corrupt.

    Unfortunately, I live in Monument. I live in the wrong county. they will not publish me. Been in the Colorado Springs paper multiple times about this.

    And, in case you are wondering Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway owns the Burlington Northen Santa Fe Railroad. He’s such an environmentalist too. His RR stand to earn after tax , ready? $2Billion dollar over the next 10 years by stopping the XL Pipeline. Are you starting to finally get the picture? Corrupt as well.

  • S2

    F.R.A. sets rules and regs, they DO NOT run the R.R.’s or own the right of way’s. Railroaders are better left running R.R.’s than politicians or lawyers.

  • jim kirchhoffer

    Do any of you understand that this is the 7th crude oil tanker car derailment in 2014, and 24th derailment of all kinds of stuff in rail cars, that Bakken crude is as volatile as naphan and 6 of these derailments burst into flames ? Keep
    your eyes on the facts and if crude tanker cars go through your town, Join us and stop this rail shipment now, before your town joins the list of disasters.

    • Anonymous

      Jim, there may be alot of derailments lately, but rail is the safest way, economical, and cheapest to ship in the country for hazardous or heavy materials. Tank car designs need drastic improvement and should be done sooner rather than later. And the government wants people to believe rail is unsafe. People are now petitioning hazardous cargo shipped by rail. The only other way for oil and gas till a pipe line is built is by truck. That means fuel and oil prices will go up 4x what they are now, because it takes at least 4 trucks to one rail car. If you want to make a difference, ask for rail car improvements.

  • Larry Benoit

    Why oil trains keep derailing and the problem can not be solved. By Larry Benoit.

    As a truck driver I can feel the load shifting and react to it. I have to go well below the posted speed to keep the tank truck upright on curves. Liquids continue to slosh back and forth and side to side after straightening out and straightening can add one more vector to the sloshing.
    The side torque of a liquid train against the track bed on a curve is huge. Enough to dislodge the track from the bed or shift the rail for the next train.
    In a truck the driver can feel and correct it. In a train there is no such speedy control. So the physical problem with trains is speed and the reason that it can not be solved is…

    The oil trains must travel on tracks that share their time with other hard freight on a tight schedule. The railroad is being paid good money to move the oil on what appears to be a normal schedule. If the train is scheduled for a slower run it will hold up millions of dollars of freight and inconvenience thousands of shippers and receivers and make J. B. Hunt and Wall-mart unhappy.
    This is why it cannot be solved. It would take an act of congress to cut oil train speeds in half because the railroads would raise hell about it and the PAC money would fly in buckets
    A technical solution would be to install weight sensors on the cars like Halliburton uses on their Sandcastle well site tanks. A warning signal could slow the train. Which would be upsetting to dispatchers and expensive.

  • R Sweeney

    Decades of statistics have proven railroads 4 times more dangerous than pipelines in carrying oil.
    America needs new pipeline infrastructure to carry our “new found” tight oil and gas and get as many barrels as possible off the rails.

  • Juan Dia

    The railroads have hauled oil products safely for years. I’m pretty sure the Senator is wanting and or pushing for safer cars to transport the oil in. The railroads cannot refuse to haul material as long as it’s being transported in a way that meets Federal Standards. So if they need to tighten the standard on these cars, so be it. Pipelines fail too. And so do trucks, airplanes, ships, etc. I have to laugh at Mr. Berniot’s comment that “He can feel the load shifting” while driving a truck. If he can feel it shift, it’s TOO FREGGING LATE!

  • freeenergymobile

    Any truck driver will confirm that they can feel liquid loads shifting on air-ride suspension trailers. Even a load of cola or beer can be felt as the liquid keeps changing the center of gravity.
    The flow of goods can not be slowed down. Oil shipments can not be allowed to inconvenience J. B. Hunt and Wall-Mart.
    The force of the liquid shifted to the outside of one hundred 250,000 pound train cars going around a curve far exceeds that of dry freight.
    The derailments in new indestructible cars will continue.

  • Bob

    In response to multiple comments about “shifting weight” this has no bearing to this incident as this is straight track where this derailment occurred also we do have speed restrictions on every train it depends on car type, weight of the train and the class of track were operating on and any track conditions also affect train speed which was 10mph at this location.
    We’ve been doing this for 150 years a lot longer than pipelines or trucks have even existed I think we have it figured out. The problem here had nothing to do with any of the comments posted I do agree these shipment can be dangerous there’s no argument there from me but we have to remeber that before it’s on a train its in a truck that passes through every town near Windsor to get here thats 4 trucks for every rail car and our trains are 100 cars long we have shipped thousands without any incidents this is the first and yes we dodged a bullet on this one and hope to never see it happen again!
    And yes railroads are privately owned and are
    regulated by the FRA we also have our own safety practices that are typically 2 times more stringent than the FRA our crew’s do not take
    safety lightly and know the communities we operate in expect us to be good neighbors and we take pride in providing safe transportation.
    we live here to we do not like this happening anymore than you folks
    do and we care a whole lot more about safety than what JB Hunt or Wal-Mart think of us in the long run because if you’re not running a safe and reliable operations you don’t belong in this business and you won’t last long.

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