July 11, 2013: This disaster could give President O'Bama "top cover" if he decides to approve the Keystone XL. [His decision will be seen as arbitrary and capricious regardless which way he decides.]
July 11, 2013: The WSJ says criminal probe underway. Railroad owner says it is likely engineer didn't set brakes correctly.
July 10, 2013: Rigzone has a long article on this story.
July 9, 2013: the "runaway freight train" did not frighten off investors. UNP is up almost $4.00 today. Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you thought you might have read here.
July 9, 2013: The WSJ is reporting:
The operator of the runaway train that derailed and exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, this weekend recorded an accident rate far higher than the U.S. average over the past 10 years, federal data show.
A train operated by Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. train operator Rail World Inc., is at the center of a Canadian probe after the train was left unmanned at a crew rest stop and slammed into the small town early Saturday, triggering a deadly explosion and fire.
Rail World is controlled by a Chicago-area railroad veteran, Edward Burkhardt, who has put together an empire of small railroads around the world. Mr. Burkhardt, Rail World's chairman and chief executive, has spent a lifetime in the industry, earning the respect of many fellow rail executives.
But the 74-year-old Yale graduate has also faced criticism for a bitter battle with one of his boards and for championing the controversial use of remote-controlled trains in rail yards and one-person crews. The deadly Quebec derailment has put MM&A's safety record under a microscope.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada, the country's main investigator of rail accidents, doesn't publicly post safety records of individual operators, but does make that data available upon request. MM&A didn't turn up in a basic record search of Canadian accidents. A spokesman for the safety board said late Monday that a fuller record wasn't immediately available.
July 10, 2013: the train may have been tampered with. CNN is reporting:
The chairman of the company whose driverless train barreled into the small Quebec town of Lac-Megantic and unleashed a deadly inferno told a Montreal newspaper he believes it had been tampered with.
"We have evidence of this," Ed Burkhardt said in an interview published by the Montreal Gazette. "But this is an item that needs further investigation. We need to talk to some people we believe to have knowledge of this."
Analysts also pointed to the dearth of hard facts about the incident, including the question of how a cargo of crude, which is not particularly flammable, was ignited.I've wondered the same; great question. Weren't just four (4) tank cars of the 73 tank cars involved? I can't remember; seems I read something along that line. -- yes, here it is, in the original post.