Sen. Klobuchar Wants Hearing on Rail Safety

Updated: 01/13/2014 10:32 PM By: Tim Sherno

Following high profile train accidents in Two Harbors, Minnesota and Casselton North Dakota, Senator Amy Klobuchar is calling for Senate hearings on rail safety with a focus on tank cars that carry hazardous material.

In a letter to leaders on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Klobuchar asks that specific attention is paid to rail cars, "With only about 14,000 of the 92,000 tank cars that carry hazardous materials meeting the latest safety standards, PHMSA's upcoming rule-making must protect communities and public safety, but must also be workable for the rail industry and shippers."

A spokesperson for BNSF says the rail line is always working to improve safety issues, but points out there is little that can be done with cars.

Amy McBeth with BNSF says rail lines only haul cars, "Railroads do not own the tank cars used to move hazardous materials or crude oil. Customers either own them directly or lease them from leasing companies."