• 5 minutes Mike Shellman's musings on "Cartoon of the Week"
  • 11 minutes Permian already crested the productivity bell curve - downward now to Tier 2 geological locations
  • 17 minutes WTI @ 67.50, charts show $62.50 next
  • 9 hours The Discount Airline Model Is Coming for Europe’s Railways
  • 16 hours Pakistan: "Heart" Of Terrorism and Global Threat
  • 2 hours Desperate Call or... Erdogan Says Turkey Will Boycott U.S. Electronics
  • 2 hours Venezuela set to raise gasoline prices to international levels.
  • 15 hours Saudi Fund Wants to Take Tesla Private?
  • 1 day Starvation, horror in Venezuela
  • 10 mins Renewable Energy Could "Effectively Be Free" by 2030
  • 1 day Batteries Could Be a Small Dotcom-Style Bubble
  • 1 day Newspaper Editorials Across U.S. Rebuke Trump For Attacks On Press
  • 1 hour Are Trump's steel tariffs working? Seems they are!
  • 24 hours WTI @ 69.33 headed for $70s - $80s end of August
  • 16 hours Scottish Battery ‘Breakthrough’ Could Charge Electric Cars In Seconds
  • 8 hours Corporations Are Buying More Renewables Than Ever

Railway Company Lawsuit Highlights Dangers Of Oil By Rail

Rail

Norfolk Southern Railway is suing a company that manufactures railroad ties because it didn’t use the right protective coating for the ties, and now Norfolk Southern will need to replace more than 4.7 million of these to avoid accidents, including oil by rail accidents.

The Alabama tie manufacturer, Boatright Railroad Products, allegedly used motor oil, anti-freeze, paint and several other substances to coat the ties, instead of creosote, which is normally used for protective coating of railroad ties. The problem is that these compounds do not protect the wood, allowing it to decay faster than it would otherwise, increasing the risk of accidents.

The lawsuit should bring attention to the risk inherent in the transportation of crude oil by rail, as Norfolk Southern knows from its own painful experience: last year, the company was fined by the Virginian environmental watchdog for an oil spill that resulted from a collision of two trains. The collision derailed both locomotives and at least five cars, one of which was a tank carrying 23,500 gallons of oil. More than 17,000 gallons were spilled.

Transporting oil by rail is becoming increasingly popular as opposition against new pipeline projects intensifies and oil producers seek alternatives. However, it is not becoming safer, as a recent report from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics has found.

According to the BTS, only 9 percent of tank cars that transport flammable liquids are compliant with the stricter safety requirements approved two years ago. The majority of the tank car fleet used to carry oil and fuels was still of the more accident-prone, thinner-shelled DOT-111 type. What’s more, the report found, the rail car fleet for flammable liquids will only meet these stricter requirements in 2029.

Railway transportation of crude oil is riskier than pipeline transportation and more expensive for producers, but they have had to resort to it because of the shortage of pipeline capacity. In fact, railway shipments of oil could increase in the future.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Bill Simpson on November 03 2017 said:
    Concrete is the way to go.

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News