Amtrak derailment puts Spokane oil trains back in spotlight - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Amtrak derailment puts Spokane oil trains back in spotlight

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Train disasters can impact you even if you never set foot on a train. Some believe that may be especially true in Spokane, where the state reports every week, railroads ship more than a million barrels of crude oil across Washington. The majority of it passes through Spokane.

KHQ learned passenger trains only typically run through Spokane once a day, mainly in the overnight hours. What passes through more, on average of two or even three times a day, are trains carrying oil.

"These derailments happen all the time, most are minor," said Safer Spokane Chairman, Jim Lee. "Every once in a while, there is one that is catastrophic."

Lee said what happened on the west side of our state Monday morning certainly falls into that category.

"The odds are small, but like I said, It only takes one," he said.

That's why Lee said he pushed for change in Spokane through proposition two. It failed last month.

"The aim of (proposition two) was to require oil companies to reduce the flammability of the Bakken crude oil before it ships through Spokane instead of when it hits the coast," he said. "We have 100 to 130 cars (containing) a material, more flammable than gasoline, going through Spokane two to three times a day."

BNSF officials said they spent $175 million in Washington alone this year to maintain their tracks, cover upgrades, and invest in new technologies to keep everything safe. They told KHQ they inspect their tracks at a minimum, four times a week. They said their busiest main lines, including here in Spokane, may be inspected daily.

Lee said the proposed safety improvements will be taken to the state legislature in coming months.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police confirm body of missing Spokane man Ian Powers found in bay; Death ruled accidental

    Police confirm body of missing Spokane man Ian Powers found in bay; Death ruled accidental

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 11:35 AM EST2018-11-20 16:35:21 GMT

    SAN FRANCISCO - The Santa Clara Police Department has confirmed the body of 32-year-old Ian Powers from Spokane was found in the water near Alviso Marina on Saturday. According to the department, the Coroner's Office has determined that the cause of death was salt water drowning. The manner of death has been ruled an accident. 

    >>

    SAN FRANCISCO - The Santa Clara Police Department has confirmed the body of 32-year-old Ian Powers from Spokane was found in the water near Alviso Marina on Saturday. According to the department, the Coroner's Office has determined that the cause of death was salt water drowning. The manner of death has been ruled an accident. 

    >>
  • Citing E. coli outbreak, US officials say don't eat romaine

    Citing E. coli outbreak, US officials say don't eat romaine

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 3:34 PM EST2018-11-20 20:34:25 GMT

    NEW YORK - U.S. health officials are telling people to avoid eating romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 32 people in 11 states. The Food and Drug Administration says it's working with officials in Canada, where people are also being warned to stay away from romaine lettuce.

    >>

    NEW YORK - U.S. health officials are telling people to avoid eating romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 32 people in 11 states. The Food and Drug Administration says it's working with officials in Canada, where people are also being warned to stay away from romaine lettuce.

    >>
  • How you can help the family of 8-year-old boy randomly stabbed at Spokane Valley gas station

    How you can help the family of 8-year-old boy randomly stabbed at Spokane Valley gas station

    Monday, November 19 2018 9:46 PM EST2018-11-20 02:46:19 GMT

    Several locals are trying to help the family of an eight-year-old boy, who was randomly stabbed at a gas station Saturday. Rayel Von Quade said she and three others (Salem Rose Sovereign, Quincey Brooks and Dani Loup) have been in touch with the Bush family. (KHQ has reached out to the family and have not heard back.) "They're, of course, very overwhelmed and stressed out right now and she's been dealing with a lot of messages from a lot of people coming through. But she says t...

    >>

    Several locals are trying to help the family of an eight-year-old boy, who was randomly stabbed at a gas station Saturday. Rayel Von Quade said she and three others (Salem Rose Sovereign, Quincey Brooks and Dani Loup) have been in touch with the Bush family. (KHQ has reached out to the family and have not heard back.) "They're, of course, very overwhelmed and stressed out right now and she's been dealing with a lot of messages from a lot of people coming through. But she says t...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/