I thought I had a septic problem when my toilet and sink wasn't draining properly. This suspicion was confirmed when sewer water started backing up in my bathtub. I figured that this was a job for a professional, so I called a local sewer service company. Sure enough, my septic tank was full and this was causing the problem. After having my tank pumped out, my drains run freely and my toilet flushes better than it has in a long time. My name is Wesley Hammond and the experience that I had with my septic system is the reason that I'm writing this blog. Since sewage backup in the house is very unhealthy, everyone should be aware of the signs of a faulty septic system. As you read these articles, you'll learn about the different types of septic system problems and how you can keep them from happening.
Railroads in Canada and the United States have seen a rise in use by companies looking to ship natural resources such as oil and gas across the continent. North America is certainly experiencing a demand for this transportation unlike any its seen in quite some time. There's no doubt that railway transportation is an effective means of getting these resources from one place to another, but many people still aren't sure just how safe this practice is, especially in areas where railroad maintenance hasn't been highly prioritized. Should consumers be worried about the safety of this shipping method? Most railroad construction and maintenance companies say no, and here's why.
Better training for drivers and emergency workers
A devastating explosion in the town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in 2013, triggered an uproar across North America. A railway car full of crude oil was left unattended, idling on the tracks, and it rolled into the town, derailing 63 railway tankers filled with oil and causing an explosion that killed 47 people. This event led to a serious look at exactly what type of safety training rail drivers receive, and how it could be improved. It also encouraged additional training for first responders who had little or no prior experience with this type of railroad accident.
The accident was tragic, and preventable, but it is believed that the safety precautions then in place were not sufficient. Although the driver of the train was trained, the measures in place weren't adequate for the situation that arose, and the consequences were devastating. At the time of the accident, it was common to allow the lead train to be held on a higher gradient of track with only hand-brakes applied, a practice which has now been altered to improve safety measures. One of the most important results of the Lac-Megantic tragedy has been a greater emphasis on safety for all railway companies using this method to transport crude oil.
Improved track and bridge maintenance
Derailments caused by poor safety practices aren't the only worry that many have about shipping crude oil in tankers. A general lack of railway maintenance of tracks and bridges has some cities worried that they could be at risk of becoming another victim of an oil spill or fire, especially in areas where the railroad hasn't been prioritized for maintenance. Railroad construction companies have begun increasing the attention given to improving and maintaining sections of track in North America and Canada which are heavily used to transport crude oil from city to city. More money is being budgeted for repairs and expansion, including strengthening bridges and other wooden structures that support the volatile, heavy loads.
In addition to physically reinforcing aging sections of track, railway companies are scrutinizing areas that could be problematic, such as routes that require stops on high-gradient slopes, and re-routing trains as necessary to help ensure another disaster like Lac-Megantic doesn't happen again. Better training for drivers, more frequent inspections of the track, and better maintenance of important structures such as bridges have forced railway companies to become more pro-active than reactive to help prevent future accidents.
Higher safety standards for tankers
One of the most important things that the railroad industry has done is to raise the safety standards of the tankers that actually carry the oil. The use of outdated or unsuitable tankers to carry large amounts of highly flammable substances increases the risk of an accident dramatically, so rail companies have been forced to seek out better tankers for transporting crude oil and other dangerous substances. Improved braking technology, better airflow in engines, and thicker walls that cannot be punctured easily in the event of a train derailment are all important improvements designed to keep the trains, and the people in the cities that they travel through, safe from the aftermath of a crash.
Improving safety and increasing awareness of the importance of regular inspections are some of the first steps that railroad companies are taking to keep towns and cities safer during this boom in domestic oil transportation by railway. As the demand for domestic oil shipping increases, it's up to the railroad companies to ensure that safety remains a priority, so North America can continue to benefit from the use of these resources without worrying about the safety of its railway systems.Share