US freight trains are getting longer, is that safe? End-shutdown

Freight trains up to 5 miles carry freight across the US, but in light of recent derailments, some are questioning whether current safety guidelines are up to snuff.


| Analysis

February 23, 2023

Freight trains in the US can be miles long

Getty Images Source: RF Moment

Freight trains are getting longer in the United States. Thousands of these trains, often over a kilometer long, run safely every day. But a recent derailment and the resulting chemical spill in Ohio have raised questions about whether longer trains are at greater risk of derailment.

In the first five weeks of 2023 prior to the derailment, more than 1 million train cars of coal, chemicals, minerals, grain, automobiles, and oil successfully traversed the railroads that cross every state except Hawaii.

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