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RBN Energy: CBR economics aren’t what they used to be
The crude by rail (CBR) boom that less than two years ago preoccupied the industry and generated intense regulatory scrutiny is, for all intents and purposes, over, according to a…
AAR considers court action to alter CBR rulemaking
Reaffirmation by the U.S. rail and hazardous materials regulators of new rules for the movement of flammable liquids means operational migraines for railroaders, without actually addressing the underlying cause of…
Does zero Bakken crude for Irving Oil indicate a trend?
Irving Oil Ltd., operator of Canada’s largest crude oil refinery, has stopped importing crude oil sourced from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and shipped by rail in favor…
AAR: CBR leveling off in 2015
In reporting Class I railroad traffic for the week ending Aug. 8, 2015, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) took note of the fact that CBR (crude by rail) shipments…
West Coast CBR shipments stable, for now
There is “big potential” to expand crude by rail shipments to West Coast ports and to California, but building the infrastructure “has proven painstakingly slow,” writes RBN Energy LLC analyst…
Drought relief, by rail
Could emergency service that’s been used worldwide be applied on a massive scale for California?
FRA issues rule preventing unattended trains carrying flammables from rolling away
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued on July 30, 2015 a final rule to prevent unattended trains that carry crude oil, ethanol, poisonous by inhalation (PIH), toxic by inhalation (TIH),…
Is Bakken CBR fading away?
Bakken crude oil hauled in unit trains may disappear by 2017, according to an analysis conducted by RBN Energy LLC.
The wait for a new tank car specification is over. Now comes the “fun” part: Retrofits to older cars, and potentially onerous operating rules.
Fiery crude oil train wreck in North Dakota
A BNSF crude oil unit train derailed near the small North Dakota town of Heimdal, at 7:30 a.m. CDT on May 6, 2015, resulting in explosions and fire.
NTSB wants all tanks in a blanket
Proponents of current plans to renew the continent’s crude oil tank car fleet arrived at work April 7 to find another embarrassing egg laid at their doorstep, and not by…
"Synbit" culprit in CN's second Gogama conflagration
At first sight, the March 7, 2015 Reuters bulletin looked like an accidental re-filing of a three-weeks-old news flash: “A Canadian National Railway train carrying crude oil has derailed near…
Why bitumen isn’t necessarily safer than Bakken
The chain reaction fireballs that attended the Feb. 16, 2015 derailment of a CSX unit oil train in populated West Virginia probably blinded observers to the significance of the concurrent…
RSI-CTC to PHMSA: Stronger tank cars alone won’t do it
The Railway Supply Institute Committee on Tank Cars (RSI-CTC) on Feb. 6, 2015, released a statement regarding the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) draft rule on tank cars…
North Dakota: Treat Bakken crude for transport
North Dakota has ordered producers of oil from the Bakken shale field to begin removing flammable natural gas liquids from the product before crude-by-rail (CBR) transport to other locations.
UP begins Canada-to-California CBR service
Union Pacific’s Can-Am Corridor linking western Canada with the western U.S. entered a new era on Nov. 24, 2014, when the first unit train of Canadian crude rolled across the…
Keystone XL promoter a convert to CBR
Now even the promoter of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is boosting the benefits of crude-by-rail (CBR) over pipelines.
Greenbrier calls for no delays on PHMSA rulemaking, legacy tank car retrofits
Greenbrier on Oct. 10, 2014 reiterated its support for the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) proposed Option 2 design for new tank cars in flammable service built after…
Improving safety on North America’s “122-inch pipeline”
Are corrosion protection strategies for rail “all hat and no cattle?” (all talk, no substance?). James McDonald, Terry Aben P.E., and Douglas Mittlesteadt of Hempel USA examine this subject for…
RSI-CTC to PHMSA: “One size fits all” won’t work
In comments sent to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Dept. 30, 2014, the Railway Supply Institute Committee on Tank Cars (RSI-CTC) warned of “significant disruption to…
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