The Coalition for a Safe Olympics has called on Union Pacific Railroad to reroute its trains carrying hazardous material around Salt Lake City, Utah, during the Olympics in February. Union Pacific trains run within blocks of major Olympic events, according to the coalition. The Coalition called on Union Pacific to address the threat posed on its rail system whether by accident or terrorist intent.
The Coalition, comprised of Utah State elected officials, the Teamsters, other unions, environmental, and railroad safety groups noted that Union Pacific as thus far refused to halt, reroute, or even curtail its hazardous materials shipments during the Olympics.
"Union Pacific's refusal to reroute hazardous shipments stands in stark contrast to all other hazardous material transporters in the region, all of whom have agreed to limit or restrict their shipment of hazardous cargo," the coalition states. "Even Salt Lake City International Airport will halt all traffic during opening galas of the Olympics."
More than 70,000 visitors and 3,700 athletes and officials from 80 nations are scheduled to visit the city during the Olympics, according to the coalition information.
Union Pacific Railroad operates trains through Salt Lake City not far from The Gateway and Olympic Legacy Plaza. Though training has taken place to respond in the event of a catastrophe, there are preventive measures that must be taken to protect the community, according to the coalition.
The Coalition called upon the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command to require Union Pacific to reroute trains carrying hazardous materials or munitions during the Olympic Games, unless delivering it directly to Salt Lake City; require that all Union Pacific trains or other Railroads carrying munitions or hazardous materials to Salt Lake City during the time of the Olympic games stop only during the late night and early morning hours, when the fewest possible number of residents and visitors are at Olympic venues; require all trains that have not been thoroughly inspected and all cargo inventoried within 100 miles of Salt Lake City and Ogden be stopped at least 30 miles outside for such a screening.
Also require Union Pacific and any other Railroad to provide armed personnel to travel on all trains carrying munitions or hazardous materials to Salt Lake City or Ogden during the period of the Olympic games; require all Union Pacific trains or any other railroads passing through Salt Lake City or Ogden to submit a detailed, notarizedinventory of all cargo and personnel aboard the trains at the time they pass through Salt Lake City or Ogden; and require all inventories and screening reports be submitted to the Utah Olympic Public Safety Command before trains are permitted to pass through the area.