Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the rerouting of rail transported hazardous materials away from metropolitan areas
by Blodgett, Brian D., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2008, 125; 3335327
Abstract (Summary)

City council members throughout the United States are concerned about a terrorist attack against a train hauling hazardous material that could potentially kill and/or injure thousands. The District of Columbia's Legislators passed a law requiring trains hauling hazardous materials to be rerouted around the city. Railroad industry leaders, as well as many federal, state, and local legislators, believe that the rerouting of trains away from the District of Columbia will only shift the hazard and thus the risk to citizens along alternative routes. This study examined the cumulative risk associated with transporting hazardous materials over the existing route through the District of Columbia, as well as evaluating the overall risk along alternate routes that traverse Maryland, Virginia, and/or West Virginia but avoid the District of Columbia. The findings, which show that rerouting hazardous materials away from metropolitan areas will lower the risk in that specific area but increase the risk to other areas, could be used by the railroad industry and by communities in determining the effects that rerouting hazardous materials will have on the cumulative risk associated along an existing or planned route. The quantitative methodology presented in this study could be used by railroad authorities to assist in compliance with the July 8, 2008 Department of Transportation's Interim Final Rule on Enhancing Rail Transportation Safety and Security for Hazardous Materials Shipments. The methodology can also be used by policy decision-makers in other municipalities in United States and abroad to estimate the risk associated with rerouting trains and even trucks hauling hazardous materials.

Indexing (document details)
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 69/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Transportation planning, Urban planning
Keywords: Hazardous material, Hazmat, Rail, Railroad, Rerouting, Risk
Publication Number: 3335327
ISBN: 978-0-549-88267-1
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