Most of Center City is apparently in something called an "Oil Train Blast Zone." Thanks for sharing this unsettling bit of information, Twitter account of PennFuture. Even though this story has been reported on recently after the derailment on the Schuylkill Arsenal Bridge in January, it doesn't really sink in until you see it on a map (or see a train teetering over the Schuylkill River). Activists were in town yesterday to shed some light on the issue and are seeking a ban on DOT-111 tank cars, so-called "Pepsi can cars" that have thin walls and puncture easily. So, is it really half of Center City? Let's check out the map.
So, here is the "Oil Train Blast Zone" map of Philadelphia, according to non-profit ForestEthics. From looking at the map, you're probably thinking that the red line wrapped around Philadelphia is a bad thing. Correct you are! It represents US DOT's half-mile evacuation zone should their be a derailment. Much of Center City, nearly all points along the Schuylkill River/Expressway and almost the entirety Southwest Philadelphia is within the red-zone. It even cuts across much of North Philadelphia, especially in the northwest neighborhoods. The yellow isn't too good, either. That represents US DOT's potential fire impact zone in the event of a situation. Almost all points west of Broad Street from Girard Avenue to the Navy Yard is within this zone. That is some scary stuff.
· Deteriorating infrastructure plus crude oil could lead to tragedy, activists say [Philly.com]
· Train derails on bridge over Schuylkill River in University City [Philly.com]
· NTSB: Oil train crash risks 'major loss of life' [Philly.com]