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Bomb Trains: The Crude Gamble of Oil by Rail

Oil trains charging through North America are derailing and exploding, resulting in severe environmental damage and human casualties.

by VICE News
Jul 29 2014, 3:50pm

It's estimated that 9 million barrels of crude oil are moving over the rail lines of North America at any given moment. Oil trains charging through Virginia, North Dakota, Alabama, and Canada's Quebec, New Brunswick, and Alberta provinces have derailed and exploded, resulting in severe environmental damage and, in the case of Quebec, considerable human casualties.

A continental oil boom and lack of pipeline infrastructure have forced unprecedented amounts of oil onto US and Canadian railroads. With 43 times more oil being hauled along US rail lines in 2013 than in 2005, communities across North America are bracing for another catastrophe.

VICE News traveled to the Pacific Northwest to investigate the rapid expansion of oil-by-rail transport and speak with residents on the frontline of the battle over bomb trains.

Find out if you live in a "bomb train" blast zone here.

Follow producer Spencer Chumbley on Twitter: @spencerchumbley

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