in the comments section on the KOMO webpage, BNSF put this official statement (I am assuming it was in fact the company):
"BNSF is extremely disappointed that the KOMO report relied heavily upon accusations from a plaintiff’s attorney who is neither a homeland security expert nor a railroad operations expert. In fact, Mr. Jungbauer stands to financially benefit from disparaging the railroad’s reputation and tainting jury pools in the Seattle area.
We are appalled that KOMO would unlawfully enter restricted areas to produce sensationalized accusations and exaggerated hypotheticals to attack rail safety and security. We take these issues very seriously.
The report failed to recognize that there are numerous ways to immobilize a parked train such as removing essential equipment, tieing down handbrakes or isolating electrical fields on the locomotive.
To ensure BNSF operations procedures are being properly followed, a voluntary audit of our operations was initiated on Friday, Nov. 4. The audit found that every lead locomotive in the area was properly secured.
Most of BNSF’s high volume main line track is controlled by what is called Centralized Traffic Control (CTC). On CTC track, a train cannot move on the track, nor can a switch from a siding be thrown to allow a train to move onto the main line without the dispatcher seeing it on their computer screen.
In regard to security, security, all employees operating trains on mainline track or doing maintenance work on main line track are informed of the status of security alert levels and are required to report their security concerns to supervisors. Those security concerns are then investigated by BNSF Police.
Since 9-11, railroad security has been coordinated 24/7 with first the FBI and later Homeland Security after that agency was created. We have our own police force and also have long relied upon a partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement to help monitor and provide security for the railroad.
BNSF’s computer system tracks every railcar, locomotive and train on its network, whether each car is loaded or empty, what each car is carrying, and how long each car or train is at a given location.
For obvious security reasons, we are unable to discuss details of those security efforts with the news media as doing so would compromise them.
In terms of hazardous materials, the vast majority of materials that are required to be classified as hazmat when transported include many of the kinds of items people use every day including batteries, perfume, paint etc.
Less than 3/10ths of 1 percent of all rail shipments (this is true for both the industry and for BNSF) are the type of products that can be turned into the toxic or poisonous clouds of greatest concern to public safety.
There are special placement, handling and monitoring procedures for rail shipments of what are called Rail Security Sensitive Materials (RSSM). BNSF complies with those security procedures for the limited shipments that require them.
BNSF would not haul many of these materials if not required to do so by federal regulation. But since railroads are required to transport them, BNSF and the rest of the rail industry do so much more safely than when the same materials are moved over the highway. We also strongly support non-hazardous alternatives be developed to eliminate the issue entirely."