US environmental group the Waterkeeper Alliance has published a report saying that the growing numbers of trains carrying oil are posing a threat to ageing infrastructure.
Alliance members across the USA said that they have identified significant areas of concern with 114 railway bridges along known and potential routes of what it dubs 'explosive oil trains'.
The report ‘Deadly crossing: neglected bridges and exploding oil trains’ has been published by Waterkeeper Alliance, ForestEthics, Riverkeeper and a national network of Waterkeeper organisations released the exploring the condition of the country's rail infrastructure and how it is being stressed by oil train traffic.
“Waterkeepers boarded their patrol boats to uncover what is happening to the structural integrity of our nation’s railway bridges, a responsibility our federal government has shirked,” said Marc Yaggi, executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance.
This effort was initiated out of concern for the threat posed by what the group says is a 5,000% increase in oil train traffic since 2008.
“Half the bridges we looked at have potentially serious safety problems,” said Matt Krogh, ForestEthics extreme oil campaign director. “There are 100,000 rail bridges in the US – any one of them could be the next deadly crossing. Oil trains are rolling over crumbling bridges and we can’t wait for the next derailment, spill, and explosion to act.”