‘Not A Matter of If, But When’

‘Not A Matter of If, But When’

News Type: State, Regional Source: Flathead Beacon
Click here to read the article: https://flatheadbeacon.com/2018/07/19/not-a-matter-of-if-but-when/

For more than a century, westbound freight trains have rumbled up and over the Continental Divide at Marias Pass, tracking along Glacier National Park’s southern boundary and rolling through the meandering Middle Fork Flathead River corridor.

With the oil boom in North Dakota and eastern Montana, however, local and national stakeholders say the potential of train car derailments has gained greater urgency in the region, and are publicly raising concerns about the consequences of a potential “calamity” that could have a devastating impact on a prized watershed.

Last year, the Washington, D.C.-based environmental group American Rivers named the Middle Fork among the nation’s most endangered waterways due to potentially catastrophic threats presented by the increased volume of trains carrying combustible oil, warning that an accident could lead to severe spills and explosions.