October 31, 2014

Railroading’s big oil boom

On Dec. 30, BNSF Railway executive chairman Matthew Rose told the Dallas Business Journal that his sprawling 32,000-mile railroad would move 1 million barrels of crude oil every day by the end of 2014, nearly a seventh the total amount that was produced in the United States in 2012.

For railroad companies, including BNSF, the movement of oil-by-rail has become an economic windfall. In 2008, Class 1 railroads, which include the largest rail companies in America, transported just 9,500 carloads of crude oil. Five years later, in 2013, they were projected to move 400,000 carloads, due in large part to the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota. Some of those cars travel across Northwest Montana everyday, through communities like Columbia Falls, Whitefish and Libby.

Read the complete story at the Flathead Beacon.