State regulators are scrambling to hire two railroad bridge inspectors amid a surge in crude oil shipments by train.
The Contra Costa County Times reported Sunday that the safety of thousands of railroad bridges in California is now left to rail line companies and one federal inspector responsible for 11 states.
One of the first tasks for the new inspectors once hired by the California Public Utilities Commission will be to compile a list of all railroad bridges in the state. No such list exists.
No railroad bridge has failed in recent memory. After the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that shook California’s Napa wine region last month, the Federal Railroad Administrator and state regulators contacted train companies to ensure bridges in the area were inspected. No damage was reported.
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