Oil train safety, passenger train timeliness get legislative hearing

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An increase in the amount of oil train traffic traveling through Minnesota to serve the fracking operations in western North Dakota has had a ripple effect on the passenger rail operations of Amtrak.

Earlier this week a group of Minnesota state legislators wrote to the federal body that oversees train traffic to ask that the problem be addressed.

One of the legislators is Representative Frank Hornstein, who is also chair of the House Transportation Finance Committee. Hornstein has been outspoken on the passenger rail issue, and also about safety concerns related to oil train traffic through Minnesota. A comment period will end soon on proposed rules to improve tank car safety. You can comment and find links to more information at the DOT website, here.

Representative Frank Hornstien talked with KFAI’s Yvette Howie about the nature of the problem, and how it was caused by heightened activity in the Baaken oil fields. [Audio below]