Tempest in a tank car

Industry watchers greeted the news of the recent BNSF derailment in Doon, Iowa, as typical ho-hum news. 32 tank railcars hauling crude derailed on a stretch of track that had been compromised by floodwaters. Several of the cars were ruptured and there was a crude spill. Emergency services (BNSF and others) were able to contain the size of the spill, and residents of the area were evacuated as a precaution. Luckily for all parties involved, there was no conflagration whatsoever as a result of the derailment.

PFL: Headwinds, though short-term, for CBR

The June 13, 2018 report from PFL Petroleum Services, a full-service railcar company covering the North American rail market (sales and leasing, loaded and empty storage, mobile railcar cleaning, blasting, scrapping and mobile repair) says that CBR (crude by rail) traffic is growing in the U.S. and Canada, albeit with some short-term headwinds.

Canadian CBR revival?

TransCanada Corp’s recent decision to abandon its $12 billion plan to build the Energy East pipeline, combined with delays to other export pipeline projects, may create a resurgence in crude by rail (CBR) from Canada, according to a report from Reuters.

AAR to DOT: GAO agrees we don’t need ECP

The Association of American Railroads says the Department of Transportation should withdraw its rule on electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes for crude oil trains after a review released Oct. 12 by the United States Government Accountability Office.

WA CBR notification system starts October 1

Responding to the Washington Council of Fire Fighters and other first responders, Washington State adopted a new rule, Chapter 173-185 WAC, Oil Movement by Rail and Pipeline Notification, “to enhance oil spill preparedness and response.”

Crude Quarter

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) updated on Aug. 24, 2016 crude oil carload numbers for second-quarter 2016:

Insurance Guys

CBR accidents, hostile fires, and pollution exclusions

What does it mean to call a fire hostile? For an insurance policyholder seeking coverage for a large loss involving a fire or explosion and a release of something an insurer might call a pollutant like oil, gas, or a hazardous chemical product, such as following a CBR (crude by rail) accident and fire, this can be an important question.

BEK 8891 BNSF Empty Coal near Trinidad WA

Moving energy beyond borders

Can exports revive North America’s crude-by-rail and coal?

Three years ago today…

Three years ago today, the people of Lac-Mégantic could never have imagined this.

Lac megantic burning

The positive legacy of Lac-Mégantic: Zero

Three years ago, in the early hours of July 13, a runaway oil train exploded in the then-idyllic lakeside town of Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 people.