Oil By Rail: Booming But Hazardous

Last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that railroad and petroleum companies need to come up with safer ways to transport oil on North America’s rail lines following recent dramatic tank car crashes in North Dakota, Quebec, Alabama and New Brunswick.

There has been a major increase in oil shipments by rail because of the unprecedented American shale-oil production boom and the delay in the decision to approve the proposed trans-border Keystone XL pipeline. Mega-trains hauling some 3 million gallons of crude per shipment now wind their way regularly through hundreds of towns and dozens of cities from Chicago and Kansas City to Philadelphia and Seattle. Both the industry and the Obama administration are now under pressure to make the trips less hazardous.

Read the news report in Engineering News-Record...