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Heitkamp hears from Railroad Administration about inspections near Casselton derailment site

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KFGO-AM) -- The Federal Railroad Administration has responded to Senator Heidi Heitkamp's request for information regarding rail inspections near Casselton, where four derailments have occured over the past nine years.

The FRA listed nearly 3,800 track inspections statewide, but didn't specifically mention that area, except to say inspectors conducted an average of three switch observations a year on the rails in Cass County. The agency says it cited more than 13,000 defects and wrote 721 violations against BNSF.

Heitkamp says she will again ask the FRA if the area near Casselton is receiving special attention, given the history of derailments in that area. She says it's good to know there have been routine inspections in Cass County, but it's clear that the Casselton area is in need of increased attention. Heitkamp says she will press the FRA and other agencies to make that area of track a priority during an upcoming Senate Subcommittee hearing.