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Washington state, federal inspectors to inspect track along Columbia River Gorge

Washington state and federal agencies this week plan to conduct track inspections along the Columbia River Gorge rail line between Vancouver and Pasco, Wash., the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) announced yesterday. The commission sent two federally certified track inspectors to work with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on inspections of BNSF Railway Co.'s line on the Washington side of the Columbia River, according to a UTC press release. Inspectors from the Oregon Department of Transportation will assist with inspections of Union Pacific Railroad’s track on Oregon's side of the river. The inspections will help ensure all federal track safety standards are met, UTC officials said. The inspections are being performed in the aftermath of UP's recent oil train derailment in Mosier, Ore. On June 3, 16 cars of a UP train derailed and four caught fire. The train was transporting Bakken crude oil to Tacoma, Wash., when the incident occurred. No injuries were reported. Late last week, a UP spokesman said the Class I filed a report with the FRA that cites one or more broken bolts — which hold the rail in place — as the cause for the derailment, CBS News reported.

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