Fault Lines

Derailed: Investigating the US railroad industry

After a train derailment in Ohio, Fault Lines investigates whether the railroad industry has prioritised profits over safety.

On the evening of February 3, a freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in the United States town of East Palestine, Ohio.

The railroad company set off a controlled explosion of the chemicals, raising questions about the effects on health and the environment. Thousands of local aquatic animals died, and residents worry about developing long-term health issues.

East Palestine’s train derailment has raised questions about safety culture in the US railroad industry, with federal investigators stating that the toxic chemical spill and train derailment could have been prevented.

During our investigation, Fault Lines spoke with workers at the main railroads, who described how their jobs have been affected by a corporate strategy that has prioritised profits over safety.