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Western Railroad Discussion > BNSF "Oil trains" route question


Date: 01/25/12 08:01
BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: stevelv

I find it interesting that no one commented on chico's post from 2 days ago. http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,2669308 This story has been all over the media in the past few day http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/24/buffett-would-profit-keystone-cancellation/ I find it difficult to believe that the railroads would turn their backs on an opportunity to transport vast amounts of oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast so I ask the many residents of the Midwest what do you think the preferred routes would be? Also, who do you think would move the most oil? BNSF, UP, CN ?
Steve B.



Date: 01/25/12 08:14
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: toledopatch

I photographed a BNSF oil train in Pacific, Mo., last June. It was running from North Dakota to Oklahoma, according to my local intel source. I don't know which of the ex-Burlington routes the train would have used to get between Galesburg, IL and St. Louis, but it then took (obviously) the ex-Frisco out of the Gateway City to get to Oklahoma.

An alternative I can think of to this routing would be to go southeast from Fargo to Willmar, MN, thence southwest via Sioux City and Lincoln. Don't know what route they'd take after that to get to the Gulf. From Alberta, oil trains could also take the Sweetgrass Sub to Shelby, Mont., and then run via Great Falls to Billings, and down the Wind River Canyon line and C&S to Denver, thence onward to Oklahoma and Texas.

I can't really think of any practical routings for UP to handle this traffic, unless it were via interchange with CP in the Twin Cities or Chicago. CN certainly could bring trains down the DW&P, WC, and IC to the Gulf without involving a connecting carrier, so I can't see it handing off the traffic as interchange except to send it to a refinery or port exclusively served by UP.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/12 13:20 by toledopatch.



Date: 01/25/12 08:45
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: SteveD

"No one"? I found at least one on the thread referred to.

Steve Donaldson
San Carlos, CA



Date: 01/25/12 08:46
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: TTownTrains

BNSF and Watco's Stillwater Central operate a crude oil train from Stanley, ND to Bristow, OK where the crude is unloaded and pipelined to facilities in Cushing, OK (Pipeline Crossroads of the World, as they bill themselves). I'm not sure of the routing north of Kansas City, but south from there it's the Fort Scott, Afton, and Cherokee subs to Tulsa, then Creek sub to Sapulpa for transfer to the SLWC.

Bill Gillfillan
Tulsa, OK



Date: 01/25/12 09:16
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: bradleymckay

Both BNSF and CP have to interchange crude oil trains to UP for any loads going to St. James. LA. The interchange point between BNSF and UP is Kansas City. St. James has one unloading facility that is currently doubling capacity and a brand new facility, owned by other company, is in the construction stage. CN does not have access to this facility as far as I know.

When trains start going to Port Arthur, TX they will go via KCS and UP to two different facilities now under construction. I have no idea whether BNSF will even have access to either facility.

Here's some of the info from US Development Group:

http://www.us-dev.com/news_062911.php

Here's the info for the NuStar/EOG Resources project:

http://www.joc.com/rail-suppliers/nustar-eog-team-oil-train-transloads

Info on the UP served Port Arthur project:

http://www.texasrailadvocates.org/el_Asset/full.asp?ati=3&a=806

And info from KCS about their Port Arthur project:

http://www.kcsouthern.com/en-us/Services/Documents/2011/MayJuneBeyondBorders.html



Allen



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/12 11:17 by bradleymckay.



Date: 01/25/12 11:27
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: bradleymckay

stevelv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I find it interesting that no one commented on
> chico's post from 2 days ago.
> http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,2
> 669308 This story has been all over the media in
> the past few day
> http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jan/24/bu
> ffett-would-profit-keystone-cancellation/ I find
> it difficult to believe that the railroads would
> turn their backs on an opportunity to transport
> vast amounts of oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast
> so I ask the many residents of the Midwest what do
> you think the preferred routes would be? Also,
> who do you think would move the most oil? BNSF,
> UP, CN ?
> Steve B.

BTW I find it rather amusing the Washington Times mentions the rail option as being more expensive, yet fails to mention the rail option also offers shippers more flexibility/destination options...


Allen



Date: 01/25/12 12:48
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: stevelv

Thanks for all the responses and thanks bradleymckay for the links. I wasn't aware that railroads were already gearing up for this type of traffic. I'm sure none of them shed a tear when the pipeline plans were denied. That option that T-patch pointed out through the Wind River Canyon would sure be an enticing one for railfans.



Date: 01/25/12 13:02
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: tomstp

It is not a matter of the railroads turning their back on Alberta oil. They will haul what anyone will give them. But the oil company may have to ship to Canada's west coast if China buys oil instead of the US. And if they get a long term contract, pipelines will be built because it is cheaper to transport by pipe than rail about 5 to one.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/12 15:36 by tomstp.



Date: 01/25/12 13:03
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: ts1457

stevelv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for all the responses and thanks
> bradleymckay for the links. I wasn't aware that
> railroads were already gearing up for this type of
> traffic. I'm sure none of them shed a tear when
> the pipeline plans were denied. That option that
> T-patch pointed out through the Wind River Canyon
> would sure be an enticing one for railfans.

The railroads need to be careful what they ask for. I think in previous discussions we have had analyses of just how many trains it would take to match the pipeline. The numbers are astounding, as well as costly, and the economy as a whole would not do as well from a less optimal solution. The danger with big new moves on the railroad is that the costs might be underestimated so you endanger the whole corporation. It's happen before and it could happen again.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/12 13:04 by ts1457.



Date: 01/25/12 20:19
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: kevink

toledopatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I photographed a BNSF oil train in Pacific, Mo.,
> last June. It was running from North Dakota to
> Oklahoma, according to my local intel source. I
> don't know which of the ex-Burlington routes the
> train would have used to get between Galesburg, IL
> and St. Louis, but it then took (obviously) the
> ex-Frisco out of the Gateway City to get to
> Oklahoma.

Now that must have made an impressive sight as it tackled Dixon Hill an hour or two later. I wonder if this was a reroute off the Brookfield Sub during ths summer floods.



Date: 01/25/12 20:29
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: darkcloud

stevelv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for all the responses and thanks
> bradleymckay for the links. I wasn't aware that
> railroads were already gearing up for this type of
> traffic. I'm sure none of them shed a tear when
> the pipeline plans were denied.


Actually the UP Prez said cancelling the pipeline was stupid and bad for the economy and country as a whole, including his customers. However that thread was likely killed, too.



Date: 01/26/12 06:16
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: GNR1938

This is a list of the oils trains we currently get down the Staples sub thru Northtown.

U-STNSAP, U-STNKCM, U-TIOKCM, U-TIORSS, U-ELUKCM, U-RPBKCM

Of course, their reverse symbol back west as well.



Date: 01/26/12 07:35
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: ntharalson

toledopatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I photographed a BNSF oil train in Pacific, Mo.,
> last June. It was running from North Dakota to
> Oklahoma, according to my local intel source. I
> don't know which of the ex-Burlington routes the
> train would have used to get between Galesburg, IL
> and St. Louis, but it then took (obviously) the
> ex-Frisco out of the Gateway City to get to
> Oklahoma.

St. Louis traffic out of Galesburg goes via Quincy then
down the Mississippi River. North of Galesburg, up to
Savanna on the "Peavine" then the Aurora and St. Croix
Subs to St. Paul

>
> An alternative I can think of to this routing
> would be to go southeast from Fargo to Willmar,
> MN, thence southwest via Sioux City and Lincoln.
> Don't know what route they'd take after that to
> get to the Gulf. From Alberta, oil trains could
> also take the Sweetgrass Sub to Shelby, Mont., and
> then run via Great Falls to Billings, and down the
> Wind River Canyon line and C&S to Denver, thence
> onward to Oklahoma and Texas.

I don't think the Willmar route is a viable option,
given the fact these trains are coming off the High Line.
It's much easier to route them via Staples than Willmar.
I'm not sure where CP is interchanging with the UP, but
I think it's either Chicago or Kansas City. Given the
grade profile of the former C&S, I don't think routing
via Denver is viable.

>
> I can't really think of any practical routings for
> UP to handle this traffic, unless it were via
> interchange with CP in the Twin Cities or Chicago.
> CN certainly could bring trains down the DW&P, WC,
> and IC to the Gulf without involving a connecting
> carrier, so I can't see it handing off the traffic
> as interchange except to send it to a refinery or
> port exclusively served by UP.

I believe you're right about this, Dave, but as of this
moment, I'm not aware of any of this traffic on the CN.

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA



Date: 01/26/12 09:17
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: dpc37

> I'm not sure where CP is interchanging with the
> UP, but
> I think it's either Chicago or Kansas City.


No CP oil trains interchanging at Kansas City
yet but there is talk of interchanging with UP.



Date: 01/26/12 14:06
Re: BNSF "Oil trains" route question
Author: plowboy

The Stillwater Central Trains terminate in Stroud, OK southwest of Tulsa on the Sooner Sub.
Plowboy



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