Friday, October 10, 2014

New $1-billion railway insurance policy- and other news

 Oil Trains

AIG unveils $1-billion railway insurance policy as crude-by-rail soars 

Eric Atkins  The Globe and Mail  10/09/14

As crude-by-rail shipments soar, insurance company American International Group Inc. (AIG) is offering rail companies a $1-billion (U.S.) cushion against catastrophic derailments.

The casualty-liability policy offered by the New York-based company is believed to be the largest available, and is a sign of the perceived risks involved in the burgeoning business of moving oil by train....

... The $1-billion AIG policy would only kick in once the rail company exceeded $1.5-billion in claims. Until now, AIG’s largest railroad casualty policy was worth $100,000..... read more here

Union Pacific affected now, too, as scrutiny widens over rail shipping delays   By Russell Hubbard / World-Herald staff writer 10/10/14

Union Pacific and other main freight railroads are now required to join BNSF Railway in filing detailed weekly reports on shipping delays, as federal regulators attempt to cope with complaints from farmers and coal-burning utility plants who say crude oil gets top priority.

The Surface Transportation Board said in a ruling this week that all seven Class 1 railroads with U.S. operations are required to submit weekly information on average train speeds and the amount of time trains spend waiting in terminals, along with a description of operating conditions in Chicago. That city, one of the nation’s busiest rail interchanges, is often cited as a choke point....more here


Green groups sue over expansion of California crude by rail

By Rory Carroll  10/09/14

(Reuters) -California environmentalists on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Kern County Board of Supervisors for its approval last month of a major oil-by-rail project in the state, saying the county failed to disclose the risks of the project to the public.

In September, the board voted unanimously in favor of Alon USA Energy Inc's plan, which would increase the terminal's offloading capacity of crude from railcars to as high as 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the current 13,000 bpd.

The $100 million project would also see the reopening of the company's shuttered Bakersfield refinery, which was closed two years ago because it was unprofitable.....

... The Board of Supervisors had conducted a lengthy environmental review of the project. But groups behind the lawsuit, including the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, said the board underestimated the risks from increased pollution and the likelihood of catastrophic accidents along the rail routes.

"This dangerous plan would send huge trains full of explosive crude through California communities completely unprepared to cope with a devastating rail accident," said Kassie Siegel, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity.

"Kern County supervisors broke the law by rushing to approve a project that will pollute the Central Valley's air and put thousands of unsuspecting people in the path of these hazardous bomb trains," she more here  

Barbara Leader, The News-Star  Oct 5, 2014      video at site      Updated

MER ROUGE [Louisiana] Two Union Pacific engineers were injured when their train derailed in Mer Rouge early Sunday afternoon after colliding with a truck that was stuck on the tracks....

 "We're lucky that wasn't one of our oil trains that we get 10 times a day," Mer Rouge Mayor Johnny McAdams said. "If it had been an oil train, we would have had a fire and then we would have had fatalities." ..   read more here

Update:  You Tube video of crash


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