Posts tagged train

Driver was on phone at time of Spain train crash which killed 79 – investigators




Driver was on phone at time of Spain train crash which killed 79 – investigators



An injured man, identified by Spanish newspapers El Pais and El Mundo as the train driver Francisco Jose Garzon, is helped by a policeman after a train crashed near Santiago de Compostela, northwestern Spain, July 24, 2013. (Reuters / Oscar Corral)


The driver of a high-speed Spanish train, which crashed killing 79 people last week, was talking on the phone when the accident occurred, the investigators said after opening the “black box” recorders.

The Investigators say the train was going as fast as 119 mph (192 kph), which is almost twice the speed limit, before the crash and the conductor activated the breaks just “seconds before the crash,” AP reports.

The court statement also revealed that the driver was talking on the phone to an official at the national rail company, Renfe, when the crash happened.

He was apparently consulting a paper document at the time of the accident.

Conductor driver Francisco Jose Garzon Amo has been provisionally charged with multiple counts of negligent homicide.

Previously, the investigation revealed that he violated the speed limit regularly and even boasted about it on social networks.

The fatal crash took place on June 24 near the city of Santiago de Compostela when the train derailed after entering a high-risk curve at high speed.


Japanese rail passengers push train to free woman trapped in gap



The Associated Press  Posted: Jul 22, 2013 12:02 PM ET  |  Last Updated: Jul 22, 2013 11:59 AM ET

Japanese rail passengers push train to free woman trapped in gap

Dozens lean on 29-tonne train to rescue woman who fell between train and platform


Train passengers and Japan Railways staff push a train car in their effort to rescue a woman who fell and got stuck between the car and the platform while getting off at Minami-Urawa Station in Saitama, near Tokyo Monday morning. A newspaper photographer who happened to be there documented the dramatic rescue. (Norihiro Shigeta/Yomiuri Shimbun/Associated Press)


Dozens of Japanese train passengers pushed a 29-tonne train carriage away from the platform to free a woman who had fallen into the 20-centimetre gap between the train and platform during the busy morning rush hour Monday at a station north of Tokyo.

The act of heroism was captured by a newspaper photographer, whose photo of the rescue ran in the evening edition of Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest daily newspaper.

A public announcement that a passenger was trapped prompted about 40 people to join train officials to push the carriage, whose suspension system allows it to lean to either side, according to Yomiuri.

The unnamed woman in her 30s was then pulled out uninjured to applause from onlookers at Minami-Urawa station in Saitama, just north of Tokyo.

After just an eight-minute delay, the train went on its way.

Copyright © CBC 2013
Republished with permission

Quebec town rocked by explosions, fire after derailment



By CBC News  Posted: Jul 6, 2013 6:19 AM ET  |  Last Updated: Jul 6, 2013 10:13 AM ET

Quebec town rocked by explosions, fire after derailment

Train derailment in Lac-Mégantic forces 1,000 from homes as several reported missing


A train carrying crude oil derailed overnight in the heart of Lac-Mégantic in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, sparking a major fire that led to the evacuation of 1,000 people from their homes.

Over 1,000 people have been evacuated from their homes after a train derailment led to several explosions and a major fire in downtown Lac-Mégantic in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. (CBC)

Witnesses reported between four and six explosions overnight in the town of about 6,000 people. The derailment happened at about 1 a.m. ET, about 250 kilometres east of Montreal.

It is not yet known if there are any casualties, but several people have been reported missing and are feared dead.

The teary-eyed mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Colette Roy-Laroche, said emergency services are doing everything possible to deal with the crisis.

“We have deployed all resources to ensure that we can support our citizens,” she said.

A spokesperson for Quebec’s Environment Ministry says 73 rail cars filled with crude oil were involved.

The fire, which can be seen for several kilometres, has spread to a number of homes. Authorities say some 30 buildings were affected.

“It’s dreadful,” said Lac-Mégantic resident Claude Bedard. “It’s terrible. We’ve never seen anything like it. The Metro store, Dollarama, everything that was there is gone.”

Firefighters called in from U.S.

More than 100 firefighters, some as far away as Sherbrooke, Que., and the United States, were on the scene early Saturday morning to bring the flames under control.

A large but as-yet undetermined amount of fuel is also reported to have spilled into the Chaudière River.

The derailed train belongs to Montreal Maine & Atlantic, which owns more than 800 kilometres of track serving Maine, Vermont, Quebec and New Brunswick, according to the company’s website.

The cause of the derailment is under investigation. A spokesperson for Quebec provincial police said it is still early too early to say what caused it.

With files from The Canadian Press

Copyright © CBC 2013


Republished with permission

Biofuel credits behind mystery cross-border train shipments



By John Nicol and Dave Seglins, CBC News

Back and forth shipments prompt accusation of fraud, EPA and CBSA probes

Back and forth shipments prompt accusation of fraud, EPA and CBSA probes

The mystery behind a CN train that hauled biodiesel back and forth over the border numerous times in 2010 has been solved. It turns out the shipments were part of a deal by a Toronto-based company that made several million dollars importing and exporting the fuel to exploit a loophole in a U.S. green energy program. (Dave Seglins/CBC)

The mystery of the trainload of biodiesel that crossed back and forth across the Sarnia-Port Huron border without ever unloading its cargo, as reported by CBC News, has been solved.

CBC News received several tips after a recent story about a company shipping the same load of biodiesel back and forth by CN Rail at a cost of $2.6 million in the summer of 2010. It turns out the shipments were part of a deal by a Toronto-based company, which made several million dollars importing and exporting the fuel to exploit a loophole in a U.S. green energy program.

The entire U.S. biodiesel market has been the centre of controversy and even legislative hearings this summer over problems with the regulatory program administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The fallout and distrust of a market-based biodiesel credit system has had several repercussions for the industry, particularly for fledgling biodiesel companies trying to produce environmentally friendly fuel. The recent CBC reports on that train to nowhere have prompted an investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), as well as a further investigation by the EPA.

The company that organized the train shipment was Bioversel Trading Inc. of Toronto. Its principal, Arie Mazur, gave CBC a detailed explanation this week explaining that the trip was all about RINs — renewable identification numbers — the credits set up by the EPA to promote and track production and importation of renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.

The complicated deal unfolded in the final two weeks of June 2010.

Train records used to generate millions in RIN credits

Bioversel Trading hired CN Rail to import tanker loads of biodiesel to the U.S. to generate RINs, which are valuable in the U.S. because of a “greening” policy regulating the petroleum industry. The EPA’s “Renewable Fuel Standard” mandate that oil companies bring a certain amount of renewable fuel to market, quotas they can achieve through blending biofuel with fossil fuel or by purchasing RINs as offsets.

A CN freight train is shown leaving Sarnia for Port Huron in Michigan.

A CN freight train is shown leaving Sarnia for Port Huron in Michigan. (Dave Seglins/CBC)

Because RINs can be generated through import, the 12 trainloads that crossed into Michigan would have contained enough biodiesel to create close to 12 million RINs. In the summer of 2010, biodiesel RINs were selling for 50 cents each, but the price soon fluctuated to more than $1 per credit.

Once “imported” to a company capable of generating RINs, ownership of the biodiesel was transferred to Bioversel’s American partner company, Verdeo, and then exported back to Canada. RINs must be “retired” once the fuel is exported from the U.S., but Bioversel says Verdeo retired ethanol RINs, worth pennies, instead of the more valuable biodiesel RINs. Bioversel claims this was all perfectly legal.

However, one of the companies Bioversel approached to be the ‘importer of record’—Northern Biodiesel Inc. of Ontario, N.Y. — discovered that the same fuel was going back and forth across the border and the same gallons were being used to repeatedly generate new RINs under their company’s name. The company called the EPA and also sent a letter that would become an open letter to the biodiesel industry, accusing Bioversel of “trying to perpetrate a fraud against NBI and the Renewable Fuel Standard program.”

The EPA, which has a buyer beware policy for oil companies that buy RINs, did not act immediately, and the industry has been begging for it to play the role of sheriff on this case and others. The EPA won’t comment on continuing investigations, but insiders said the case is still under investigation.

Trust in US biodiesel credits shaken

Many observers of the Bioversel deal of 2010 doubt the RINs repeatedly generated on the same gallons of fuel are legal.

“If the facts in your story bear out, there needs to be some people go to prison,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of the U.S. National Biodiesel Board. “It’s not a victimless crime. [RIN fraud] has impacted the livelihoods and jobs of absolutely everybody in this industry, and it has cost the folks in the petroleum industry who have to comply with this, millions and millions of dollars and it has put small- and medium-sized biodiesel producers completely out of business.

“We’ve taken this very seriously. I testified before the House energy oversight committee this summer. Congress has been whopping mad about [RIN fraud] as well.”

CBC has contacted the EPA repeatedly is recent days asking for an opinion on whether the Bioversel imports were legal. The agency has refused to comment.

Northern Biodiesel owner Bob Bechtold says his company’s role in the deal made it a victim. His firm agreed to act as importer to generate the RINs, but when the paperwork wasn’t forthcoming from Bioversel, one of his employees called CN Rail to find out what was happening at the border.

“All we got from [CN Rail] was that there was a curious thing happening, that there were a number of cars that just kept going back and forth across the Canadian border,” he told CBC News. “When we started smelling something that was weird, we called the EPA, and notified them that this was happening, and then we called the company that we were doing this transaction with and said we’re not doing any more business with you.”

Bechtold said Bioversel had a “fit.”

“First they threatened us that we were breaking the contract,” he said. “One person came here and tried to insist that I would be in a lot of trouble because of breaking the contract, and I assured him that I thought he would be in a lot more trouble if this continued. Then they offered to buy our company, which we thought was pretty absurd, and I basically sent him on his way.”

In its letter to the EPA, Northern Biodiesel cautioned its RIN company codes had been compromised, alleging that Bioversel’s partner company, Verdeo, took its numbers and made up new RINs “as if the biodiesel has been blended into the U.S. transportation fuel stream and separated from the renewable fuel. Then they were illegally sold by Verdeo to parties obligated to acquire RINs by the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

Northern Biodiesel insisted the RINs issued were not valid because it had never received any bills of lading or chemical analysis reports from Verdeo, and thus Northern Biodiesel never reported/certified them with the EPA. However, millions of these RINs were sold in its name.

As a result, Northern Biodiesel RINs became tainted within the industry and Bechtold said that put him out of business.

“That was about the dumbest thing we ever did,” said Bechtold about the letter and coming forward to the EPA. “We thought we were saving the industry, doing good to protect the industry, but it ended up being the kiss of death for us, because we are no longer able to participate in the field.”

Beyond this case, the entire U.S. biodiesel RIN system has been plagued by problems, loopholes and even outright frauds. It has all undermined efforts to get U.S. industry to use more renewable fuels and has left big oil companies and other major fuel purchasers wary of smaller producers.

Biodiesel plant set for Welland, Ont.

Bioversel Trading told CBC News this week that everything it did was legal and insisted they never directly generated or sold RINS. The company also distanced itself from its partner Verdeo, even though one of Verdeo’s former names was Bioversel Trading (US), and Arie Mazur of Bioversel Trading (Canada) was a former director and executive of the US company.

Bioversel Trading of Toronto is at the centre of a probe by the European Union and the CBSA, which claims in search warrant documents (executed on their Toronto office last spring) that the firm is suspected of exporting American biodiesel to Romania and Italy while saying it was Canadian, to avoid huge duties. That would amount to violations of the Customs Act – but have never been proven. Bioversel Trading flatly rejects the CBSA allegations.

The Bioversel family of companies has changed its names in Canada and the U.S., and has also been embroiled in several lawsuits in the U.S. over its trading in biodiesel fuel.

One of the companies that shares the same Toronto office space, once known as Bioversel Sarnia Inc., is now known as Great Lakes Biodiesel (GLB), which is planning to open a biodiesel plant in Welland, Ont. Mazur’s lawyer said Mazur is no longer a director of Great Lakes, but confirms a Mazur’s involved in, Einer Canada, is a shareholder of GLB.

If it opens in early 2013 and meets its production targets, Great Lakes Biodiesel is eligible for $65 million in Canadian government subsidies over the next five years under the federal eco energy biofuels incentive program.

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CN mystery train crosses border 24 times, never unloads

CN mystery train crosses border 24 times, never unloads



By John Nicol and Dave Seglins, CBC News

CN Rail nets $2.6M to move shipments nowhere

CN mystery train crosses border 24 times, never unloads

Leaked documents obtained by CBC News show that a CN train that hauled biodiesel back and forth over the border 24 times in 2010 stood to gain $2.6 million for the shipments, even though the product was never unloaded. (Dave Seglins/CBC)

A CBC news investigation has uncovered a mystery involving unexplained shipments of biodiesel tanker cars moved between Canada and the United States, and back again, that were never unloaded.

According to leaked internal CN documents, the rail company stood to make $2.6 million for the effort.

“CN received shipping directions from the customer, which, under law, it has an obligation to meet,” CN Rail spokesperson Mark Hallman said last week. “CN discharged its obligations with respect to those movements in strict compliance with its obligations as a common carrier, and was compensated accordingly.”

When asked whether CN wasn’t helping to do something strange, Hallman responded: “CN met its obligations as a common carrier and we have no further comment.”

CN employees, although guarded, were more candid.


Houstonians Revolt Over TSA On Buses



By Paul Joseph Watson

Dozens of outraged residents attended a Houston METRO board meeting yesterday to express their disgust at how TSA workers were used to interrogate passengers on buses during a so-called “anti-terror” exercise last week.

Complaining of how their fourth amendment rights were violated, residents were joined by several prominent lawyers in an extraordinary backlash against the federal agency and local authorities.

The meeting was dominated by more denials on behalf of METRO that warrantless bag searches had occurred during the drill, labeled BusSafe, which was billed as a counter-terror exercise yet only managed to snag alleged prostitutes and drug users.

Despite the fact that the METRO’s official website stated after the exercise that “Law officials performed random bag checks,” in addition to a press release before the exercise that stated bag checks would take place, METRO officials continued to deny that any bag searches had occurred besides those where the passenger had been coerced into giving permission.

“On April 13, the METRO Police Department invited TSA to be a part of its bus-safe exercise. METRO said then and repeated for days afterwards there would be random searches of bus and train passengers’ bags,” reports ABC 13.

What definitely did take place was police officers and TSA agents interrogating passengers about their behavior and journey details.

“METRO and TSA were going onto the buses and questioning people about their normal routes and their normal behavior, and it just kind of creates an atmosphere of fear,” said METRO rider Derrick Broze.

“I don’t feel like by purchasing a ticket or riding a bus that I have to forfeit my Constitutional rights and my protections and be subject to search or seizure,” Broze told METRO board members. “We don’t plan on letting this issue die if the TSA stays in our city.”

A photo taken by Broze’s friend shows a ‘TSA Inspector’ looking at a passenger’s bus ticket.

“You’ve gone one step too far by bringing the TSA into our house,” another resident fumed.


Ron Paul “Peace Train” Flashback :)

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[CIM Comment]

Our last hope, so don’t be a “party” tool!

Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!

Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!

Taxpayers slapped with $32 billion bill to pay for TSA molestation



By: Ethan A. Huff

Taxpayers slapped with $32 billion bill to pay for TSA molestation of their children and seniors

TSA imageThe Obama Administration has proposed significantly hiking air travel fees to cover the costs associated with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) molestation of air travelers. Under the new plan, which would garner a whopping $32 billion in ten years, ticket fees that cover the costs of TSA security screenings would more than double for passengers, costing them at least $5 per one-way trip.As the TSA continues installing naked body scanners at U.S. airports and hiring hordes of new agents to grope travelers at airports, bus stations, trains stations, and even sports stadiums, the agency’s more than $8 billion annual budget is rapidly ballooning. And rather than continue to siphon the cash to pay for this unconstitutional nightmare of tyranny directly from taxpayers, Obama and Co. wants to make airlines, airports, and air travelers foot the bill.

According to a recent Reuters report, the administration wants to charge airlines a $100 departure fee for every commercial, business, and other type of jet that takes off from an airport. The plan would also eliminate federal grant funding for medium and large-sized airports to complete construction projects, which means the airports would have to significantly raise fees for travelers and airlines in order to cover these costs.

This massive proposed shakedown of Americans who utilize air travel would not be necessary, of course, if the TSA and its pseudo-security monstrosity was simply eliminated altogether, as is one of the proposed plans being made by 2012 presidential candidate and Texas Representative Ron Paul. If airports and airlines were permitted to simply establish their own air travel screening protocols, in others words, none of these federal fees would even be necessary.

But being the war-mongering globalist that he truly is, Obama would rather have air travelers directly cover the costs of TSA goons digging around in granny’s underwear, or taking off the diapers of young children. In essence, he would rather that every air traveler pay directly to be blasted with ionizing radiation in the backscatter x-ray machine, or to be molested by the prodding hands of a TSA screener.

What this will all accomplish, of course, is the utter destruction of the private airline industry, which is already having a difficult time staying afloat as frustrated travelers increasingly choose other forms of travel to avoid being illegally groped and screened. And just like General Motors, the endgame of this scenario is the takeover of the airlines industry by the federal government.

Sources for this article include:

[CIM Comment]

Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution!

Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!

Your Tax Dollars Or From A Chinese Loan?


Scary! Filmed today 1/20/2012 in Watsonville, CA South of Santa Cruz going South

Andrew Tuckman

I began filming this after a dozen or so train cars went by on a stretch of track south of Santa Cruz California. Where are the military vehicles going? Why are they being shipped? What could this possibly be for? Barack Obama, what are you up to? We want answers…..

[CIM Comment]

Either way, we are paying for it or now owe more for it.  The military industrial complex that profits from war does not care where the funding comes from, it simply wants more to increase profits.  War is big business, and I am just referring to the manufacturing side that we the people are paying for.  This does not include the opium trafficking that is widely reported on and the horrible loss of life.

Should you ever choose to truly support or great military people you can pass on the cute ribbon decal or bumper sticker.  Show real sincerity, vote to bring the troops home!  There is only one candidate not preaching fear and needless wars, Dr. Ron Paul.

Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!


For 2012, TSA expands to train stations, ferry docks, subways



By Steven Nelson


The Transportation Security Administration had quite a year of free publicity in 2011, including headline-grabbing news of agents groping grandmas, fondling supermodels, joking about passengers’ “junk” while virtually disrobing them and pilfering possessions from luggage.

In 2012, the agency is planning to expand its operations at train stations, subway stations, ferry docks and other transportation hubs.

Special TSA teams conducted 9,300 surprise inspections at non-airport facilities in 2011 alone. The Department of Homeland Security is pressing Congress to pay $24 million more for 12 additional roving units next year.

The Los Angeles Times reports that these teams — called “viper” units, with 25 currently operational — drop in at transportation facilities and conduct random inspections.

Not everyone is convinced that the teams are necessary, with critics referring to the operations as “security theatre.”

“It’s a great way to make the public think you are doing something,” Fred H. Cate, a professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, told the Times. “It’s a little like saying, ‘If we start throwing things up in the air, will they hit terrorists?’”

In 2011, a variety of libertarian, progressive and tea party advocates vented about the intrusive nature of TSA procedures, also referring to them as “political theatre.”

Upset airport passengers have staged a variety of protests against the agency, with some selecting to remove all of their clothes at airport checkpoints and others plotting mass civil disobedience with a 2010 national opt-out day.

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a chief congressional opponent of the agency, is sponsoring the  “American Traveler Dignity Act,” which would remove TSA agents’ immunity from prosecution for carrying out invasive procedures.  In July, Paul called for the TSA to be abolished.

TSA officials told the Times that the mobile “viper” units have not foiled any known terror plot.

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