Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UP begins Canada-to-Calif. CBR runs/ Seattle tunnel safety risk

UP begins Canada-to-California CBR service

by  Bruce E. Kelly  Railway Age   11/25/14

Union Pacific’s Can-Am Corridor linking western Canada with the western U.S. entered a new era on Nov. 24, 2014, when the first unit train of Canadian crude rolled across the international border at Eastport, Idaho, headed for a distribution terminal near Bakersfield, Calif. The 97 loaded tank cars, owned by Phillips 66, were powered by two locomotives on the head end, plus a single distributed power unit on the rear.
Unit crude-by-rail (CBR) service via the Can-Am represents a major increase in the level of crude traffic that UP and partner Canadian Pacific Railway already move over this route....

... during the first half of 2014, rail-to-barge service through the PNW reportedly brought more Bakken crude to California than direct rail service did.

How many California facilities will ultimately benefit from this new CP-UP unit crude corridor is not yet known. One source indicates there could be an average of one trainload of crude per day coming south out of Canada. UP spokesman Aaron Hunt declined to provide figures for expected train volumes, but he did confirm that UP unit trains carrying Canadian crude will now routinely travel through Idaho, Washington, and Oregon to reach California. He tells Railway Age, “We expect to run crude trains on this route moving forward.”   read more here

Danger below? Oil trains use 105-year-old tunnel below Seattle 

Danger below? Oil trains use 105-year-old tunnel below Seattle

SEATTLE -- A train carrying up to three million gallons of highly flammable Bakken crude oil runs right under downtown Seattle through a century-old tunnel that does not meet modern safety standards, according to BNSF Railway and Seattle fire officials. 

Seattle's Assistant Fire Chief Alan Vickery said the dramatic increase in the amount of oil being shipped by rail is creating a new risk facing downtown Seattle unlike anything they've ever seen.....
read more here

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