No oil trains in Central Oregon since February

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says it's all about demand

According to ODOT, more than 19,000 carloads of oil came through the state in 2013 alone. (KOIN 6)
According to ODOT, more than 19,000 carloads of oil came through the state in 2013 alone. (KOIN 6)

BEND, Ore. (AP) – Worries about the safety of trains hauling crude oil have been in the news lately, but it hasn’t been a practical concern in Central Oregon for a few months.

The Bend Bulletin reports that no oil trains have passed through the area since February. That differs from last year, when oil trains were regularly passing through Central Oregon on their way to California refineries from the Bakken region where North Dakota, Montana and Canada meet.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says it’s all about demand, and for the time being demand has fallen in California.

In recent years there has been a string of wrecks and derailments involving Bakken crude oil.

Transportation officials in the U.S. and Canada recently announced updated safety rules for tank cars. Under the rules, new tank cars carrying crude oil will have to have an outside shell, thermal lining, improved valves and thicker steel.

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