Train derailments cause widespread damage. Often highly publicized and always preventable, train derailments are usually the result of a railroad’s failure to follow established safety and engineering standards, as well as violations of Federal Railroad Administration regulations and laws.

Common Causes of Train Derailments

The following are some reasons why train derailments occur:

Train derailments can result in catastrophic consequences. Highly toxic materials, such as oil, chlorine, anhydrous ammonia, and many other toxic chemicals are too dangerous to be transported on America’s highways. The massive forces, high speeds, and weight of the locomotives and train cars combined with often hazardous or toxic cargo and poorly maintained tracks or equipment create potentially devastating situations in the event of derailment.

This dangerous combination is illustrated in the case of a 2002 derailment. Canadian Pacific Railroad (Soo Line Railroad) failed to maintain its tracks near Minot, North Dakota. The condition of the tracks violated federal laws, causing a train with several cars full of anhydrous ammonia to derail. A plume of this toxic chemical covered large sections of the town, resulting in deaths and hundreds of injuries.

If you have suffered an injury or illness caused by a train derailment, contact the knowledgeable, experienced railroad attorneys of Bolt Hoffer Boyd. We understand the technicalities and complexities of railroad operations and procedures, and we’ll work hard to hold the railroad accountable.

Contact Bolt Hoffer Boyd Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation with a train derailment attorney.