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Forum staff reports, Published January 08 2014

Heitkamp seeks information on derailments at site near Casselton

CASSELTON, N.D. – Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is asking federal regulators for more information on the history of train derailments near Casselton, where a train derailment caused a fiery explosion last week.

In a statement, Heitkamp announced she asked the Federal Railroad Administration how often it had inspected the stretch of tracks just west of Casselton, and whether any special attention will be given to that area.

The Forum wrote a story earlier this week documenting the area’s track record of train derailments in the last decade. Three derailments, including the fiery crash on Dec. 30, occurred in nearly the same spot, according to accident data from the FRA. A fourth happened two miles away.

“It is important for me and the people of North Dakota to understand what actions were taken before the derailment, and to determine the current quality of the rails in this area in particular,” Heitkamp said in a statement.

Heitkamp also requested a review of the track quality in the area to see if any upgrades or changes in operating speed are necessary.