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David Clarke

Federal rail inspectors recently discovered more than 700 defects in CSX rail lines in just three East Tennessee counties.

The defects ran the gamut from oil leaks to bad tracks and inoperative brakes, prompting concern about the possibility of derailments and other accidents.

Tri Cities TV station WJHL spoke to UT Center for Transportation Director David Clarke about the issues, and what level of concern they raised. The center is housed in UT’s Tickle College of Engineering.

“The goal of inspections is to make sure that we have safe conditions at all times,” said Clarke, a former rail inspector himself. “We have an expression or saying in the railroad industry that rules are written in blood.”

Clarke went on to say that while every problem should be taken seriously, the risk of a major catastrophe was actually fairly low.

The full article can be seen at WJHL