CSX derailments:
Three strikes and it should be out

Dec 17, 2007

CSX has had three train derailments in Baltimore in the last two weeks, all potentially dangerous. The first derailment came when 12 cars jumped the track near M&T football stadium and nearby residential communities. Three of the cars carried hazardous chemicals: a flammable resin solution and tetrachlorethylene, a chemical used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing.

The second derailment was in the industrial neighborhood of Locust Point, where one car carrying motor oil derailed and flipped on its side.

The third derailment was in a freight yard off Pulaski Highway which has heavy industrial traffic. Two derailed cars carried highly flammable ethanol, used as a fuel additive.

CSX spokesmen claimed there were no spills, injuries or bad effects. This time!

That’s hardly encouraging to all those people living and working near CSX tracks which wind through the city. Nor is it encouraging to hear Mayor Dixon and Congressman Cummings ask CSX to “limit” rail traffic – but only during games at the stadium!

It’s clear – a company that cannot prevent derailments should be deprived of the right to transport dangerous chemicals anywhere there are people. Period!