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Railroads confront crude safety

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Railroads that haul volatile crude shipments have reached an agreement with U.S. transportation officials to adopt wide-ranging voluntary safety measures after a string of explosive and deadly accidents.

A copy of the agreement between the U.S. Transportation Department and the railroads was obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

It calls for railroads to slow down oil trains through major cities, increase track inspections and bolster emergency response planning along routes that see trains that can haul up to three million gallons of oil each.

The agreement does not address concerns over another fuel, ethanol, that's also seen a spate of accidents as production has increased. Nor does it deal with design flaws in tens of thousands of tank cars that make them prone to rupture during derailments.

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