consultants are sandburs

Saturday, July 26, 2014

RAMSEY - Paths of the Oil Trains. A map from Strib. Another article too.

The map. Here.

The article, here.

Okay, the map. It shows we in Ramsey don't get it as bad as Moorhead to the west, nor as bad as the switching yard area in South St. Paul. Small favors do deserve a degree of gratitude, but emphasize "small" rather than "favors."

BNSF does us no favor by routing all that dangerous stuff through our back door.

That image is from the Strib report, which in part states:

The reports, submitted to state officials by railroads and stamped “confidential,’’ say that oil trains can be more than 100 tank cars long as they pass through 39 of the state’s 87 counties. The greatest concentration is on the BNSF Railway main line between Moorhead and the Twin Cities. Canadian Pacific, another railroad serving North Dakota’s Bakken region, sends far fewer oil trains through the state, the data show.

Almost all of the oil trains pass through populated areas. Ramsey County and Clay County, which borders Fargo, N.D., have the most traffic — 45 per week on average. In the seven-county metro area, every county except Scott and Carver sees at least 40 oil trains per week.

“We are getting a fuller picture of what is actually passing through our communities that have densely populated areas right next to these rail lines,” Rep. Frank Hornstein, chairman of the Minnesota House transportation finance committee, said of the state’s decision to release the oil train data.

Before now, state officials have said only that seven or eight oil trains run daily through the state. The detailed county-by-county information had been declared nonpublic by the state Public Safety Department until the Star Tribune asked officials to reconsider that classification.

Minnesota’s disclosure comes two days after U.S. transportation officials announced draft regulations to retrofit or retire thousands of older tank cars to reduce accident risks from crude oil and ethanol trains. At least 15 major accidents involving crude oil or ethanol trains have occurred in the United States and Canada since 2006.

[links in original] Read the item, because it gets into "Where do they go?" In that sense, try: Philadelphia. Accessible by rail, no pipelines to a near moribund refinery that now booms Bakken.

Our danger, for an East Coast bonanza, where the pipelines do not exist and where it appears that nobody in the industry or government circles is saying build that level of pipeline infrastructure, at that cost.

Just keep the trains on schedule.

Rail giant CSX at a web page:


Priority, Velocity, Flexibility

CSX – flexible transit with premier access for your crude oil trains. Visit for more information.

The United States is soon expected to become the world’s largest oil producer and CSX is in the best position to serve the major East Coast refineries and terminals.

Key Facts:
CSX has the premier high speed rail line between the Midwest and Northeast. Our “Water Level Route” between Chicago and Albany has minimal grade and is all double track, allowing CSX to get your crude oil trains from Chicago to the Hudson River, New York Harbor or Philadelphia market in less than 48 hours.

Priority access into the Northeast market makes CSX the industry leader in efficiently delivering crude oil trains to refineries and terminals along the Hudson River, New York Harbor, Delaware River, and Virginia coast. CSX also features a local crew base in Philadelphia to ensure timely service, thus maximizing your asset utilization.

CSX provides a dedicated network operations team to help manage your supply chain. With our team, your trains are constantly monitored and prioritized to move quickly through our network. [...]

... and folks along the way are impediments to that "quickly" mentality for money. They keen. They moan. As if their safety mattered. Pesumptuous 47 percenters, most likely and ya betcha. Just because there's big risk and no benefit to them, they bitch a lot as if it mattered who they think they are.

We are talking railroad profits, Big Oil profits, autos on our East Coast highways, and these tiny country folk expect government attention and answers. WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?

They gave that "for more information," so use it for that.

Even you get an interactive map, the refineries east of here, the oil fields west of here. Us, here.

The Brotherhood notes it, McClatchy notes it. The tree huggers note it. Then, there is this:

"If we didn't do what we did, the refineries are gone," said Jack Galloway, who created Eddystone Rail Co. and enlisted Enbridge Inc., one of North America's largest energy distributors, as the operating partner in the project.

The Eddystone facility is designed to receive 80,000 barrels of light North Dakota crude a day, where it is unloaded into a storage tank, and then pumped onto barges and delivered to refineries along the Delaware River. The investors aim to eventually double capacity to 160,000 barrels a day, or about two "unit" trains containing 120 rail cars.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions and PBF Energy opened oil-by-rail yards last year at their refineries to cash in on the reduced cost of domestic oil compared with imports.

The Eddystone Rail Co. is a merchant operation. "We're not married to a single refinery," said Galloway.

One client is the Monroe Energy refinery owned by Delta Air Lines just a few miles away in Trainer, which does not have room for its own rail yard. Monroe currently receives its domestic crude by barge from Albany, N.Y., where it is delivered by rail at a Hudson River terminal.

That above item is from,

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
I don't know what readers may think, but I surely would like to hear from Emmer, Sivarajah, and Perske about what each thinks, in detail and without obfuscation or smoke or mirrors, about what's to be done. And anyone suggesting a pipeline from Bakken fields to the East Coast - blows smoke, big time. That is not in the cards and we are talking about big short term profit-taking where a pipeline is long term and - hey - railroads lobby.

So what's the word from our candidate friends?

Al might have a view and state it. Good luck getting The McFadden to say boo, without five handlers giving the okay.

____________FURTHER UPDATE____________
Support solar. Support wind power and transmission from the prairies to our west to where consumers are on the grid, the nationwide grid. Support Tesla, and its plan for a multi-billion lithium battery factory, to render the internal combustion engine obsolete for automobiles; while deisel would still rule the rails and the Kenworths.

1 comment:

eric zaetsch said...

An email sent me with a request it be added as a comment to this post:

"I think your point is well taken, the potential for problems moving that much oil by rail is too great to allow anyone to stand in the way of safer alternatives like underground pipelines."

The sender did not link to any online advocacy for pipelines instead of trains, to get Bakken oil to East Coast refineries.

If any reader finds any such links, please add another comment.