BNSF describes rail safety measures

By Vancouver Energy On December 2, 2016

John Lovenburg, vice president, environmental of BNSF Railway, writes today in the Puget Sound Business Journal about the railway’s commitment to safety in Washington.

From the op-ed:

There are important conversations about freight rail safety and emergency response underway in our country and BNSF welcomes and is actively engaged in those conversations. Safety is the foundation of what we do, and for us, nothing is (more) important than operating safely.

Rail transport is vital to Washington’s economy – $28.5 billion each year in positive economic impact, according to a recent study by the Washington Council on International Trade. Trains haul grain to our ports, automotives, plane fuselages and containers full of clothes, processed food, TVs, computers, furniture and many other products to consumers here and across the nation.

Railroads also haul hazardous materials, including chlorine that keeps our water supplies safe, ammonia used to make agricultural fertilizer, and crude oil that is refined in Washington to make gasoline and jet fuel. We recognize the tremendous responsibility that comes with hauling hazardous materials, and we take extraordinary measures to ensure their safe transport. Rail transport is safer today than at any time in history – and it’s safer than any other ground transportation alternative.

Lovenburg describes the numerous safety measures that BNSF has in place, including geographic response plans, equipment staged around the state, extensive training of emergency responders and advanced tracking technology.

Rail is the backbone of the Northwest economy. For well over a century, BNSF has safely moved goods to and from the Northwest. Our commitment to preventing accidents contributed to the Federal Rail Administration declaring 2013, 2014, and 2015 the safest in U.S. history. We’re also committed to always being prepared, ready and able to respond to an accident.

Trains coming to the Vancouver Energy terminal will travel on BNSF Railway’s tracks. To learn more about BNSF’s commitment to safety in Washington, go to the Rail Safety page on