• North America - Oil Transport By Rail

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by eolesen
Rail might be a safe way to carry it, but it's horribly less efficient and can never replace the volume a pipeline provides.

The current Keystone's capacity is around 550M barrels a day. XL would have brought that up to over 800M per day.

A single 100 car train carries around 3M barrels per day and takes around three days to make the trip from Alberta to Houston...

The math of running ~200 more trains per day just doesn't scream safer than a pipeline to me... It's good for the railroads and the unions, but is it better for the environment?...
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Olesen, let us not lose sight of the capital costs; even the staunchest railroad industry advocates such as myself - away from passenger train "encroachment" - are not about to suggest capping all pipelines and let the rails do it.

I can't begin to measure the carloads of "1267" Megantic has cost the industry. Let us not forget that every Class I plus the Canadians have had an incident or two of their own. But even if Eddie Burkhardt was too greedy to care, I'd like to think the industry has learned from and has addressed the weaknesses.

Of course, I'm one of thought to say to any of the three US flagged airlines with MAX in their fleet - and even during the grounding - to say "hey let's grab one off the line, round up a certified flight crew, gas 'er up, and let's go for a spin".
  by eolesen
The Max in the hands of any US certified crew is already safer than it was or is in the hands of countless foreign carriers who don't have the same standards for pilot training or recruitment. They're simply not trained to the same degree of proficiency.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by JayBee
Canadian Pacific is planning on moving two 120-car per day trains of heavy Alberta crude from Hardesty, AB to Port Arthur, TX on behalf of ConocoPhillips. This will use a loading terminal at Hardesty owned by USD Group and an unloading terminal at Port Arthur also owned by used group. The oil is pumped via pipeline from the Oil Sands processing center to Hardesty where the diluent is removed and the crude is heated and loaded into insulated and coiled tankcars, the diluent is then piped back to the processing plant for reuse. At Port Arthur the tankcars will be steamed to extract the crude and the then diluent will be added so that the crude can be piped the short distance to a ConocoPhillips refinery. The contract starts July 1st, 2021 and the routing will be CP from Hardesty to Kansas City and from there KCS to Port Arthur. I would expect the initial days to see less than two trains handled but it will reach specified levels within a few weeks.

Keith Creel talks about the contract here
https://s21.q4cdn.com/736796105/files/d ... ebsite.pdf
  by west point
Is all this oil going to need upgrades to both CP and KCS tracks ? Can we expect work to remove some choke points that will just cause new ones to present themselves ?
  by Gilbert B Norman
Wow, can't believe "my MILW" will be a major player in oil transport. Yes, the lines in question were our competition to the Rock Island (UP "Spine Line") and their direct Mpls-KC routing. There is no interchange involved as the trains would use the "Techny Cut off" to get from the "C&M" to Bensenville, thence to the "route of the "Cities" '56-'71 , the DRI line, and the "Southwestern" to KC.

Since this line has figured in the "plays" CP has made to date for the KCS, it indeed has strategic importance. Only problem, "back in my day", the line was at best FRA Class 2 (40mph). I hope, and trust, that SOO/CP either has, or will be, "workin' on the railroad". Another Megantic is not needed.
  by urr304
I remember discussing CP wanting or logical purchasing KCS with a now departed friend in the 1990s prior to NS/CSX taking Conrail. I am surprised it has taken this long for CP to reach the Gulf like their CN friends.

I have seen the solid oil train that CSX runs through here on the Lake Shore.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Here is more discussion regarding somebody taking over KCS:

private-equity-firms-eye-kansas-city-so ... 71946.html

There is further discussion regarding the "buried" UP takeover.

Simply because "talks have broken off" does not mean "dead and buried". I've been following industry affairs long enough to know that's hardly the case.

Somebody, and I think that somebody will be another road as distinct from a "private equity" outfit, will take over the KCS. Every Class I, il other than GT/CN, has reason to want it.

Big question; will Mexico, KCS-M, go to someone else?

Stay tuned.
  by Gilbert B Norman
The Journal has a comprehensive article regarding the outlook for the fracking industry.

At best, "mixed":

Fair Use:
The end of the boom is in sight for America’s fracking companies.

Less than 3½ years after the shale revolution made the U.S. the world’s largest oil producer, companies in the oil fields of Texas, New Mexico and North Dakota have tapped many of their best wells.

If the largest shale drillers kept their output roughly flat, as they have during the pandemic, many could continue drilling profitable wells for a decade or two, according to a Wall Street Journal review of inventory data and analyses. If they boosted production 30% a year—the pre-pandemic growth rate in the Permian Basin, the country’s biggest oil field—they would run out of prime drilling locations in just a few years.
Now that the railroads "got their act together" to handle crude safely, and pipeline projects seem to be moving at snail's paces. The suggestion that the basins are looking at being "tapped out" is indeed ominous.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Times columnists, Conservative, Bret Stephens, and Liberal, Gail Collins, had to get their digs in against rail transport of oil.

Bret wants Keystone and Gail simply "doesn't want oil":

Fair Use:
Gail: About the Keystone pipeline — you would be referring to Oil Spill Waiting to Happen? And the answer to our energy problems can’t be pumping more oil, unless we want to deed the families of the future a toxic, mega-warming planet. Let’s spend our money on wind and solar energy.

Bret: Right now Canadian energy is being shipped, often by train, and sometimes those trains derail and blow up.

Gail: Totally against trains derailing. Once again, less oil in general, however it’s transported.
I leave "this one at that".

disclaimer: author Long SHEL. XOM, UNP
  by JayBee
The trains operated by CP and either KCS or BNSF carrying the Albertan Heavy Crude in the form of DRUbit have had their Hazard Category lowered, and so the trains no longer require Buffer Cars on either end.
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