2013-11-11. As Alabama flames fade, new oil-by-rail questions arise.

posted Nov 11, 2013, 8:36 AM by Alan Gould

For GSS Energy Use chapter 3. Excerpt:  The second explosive oil-train derailment this year, which has finally burned out in rural Alabama, may raise new questions about the safety of the crude-by-rail boom, pointing to problems beyond those that surfaced following the earlier tragedy in Quebec. ...nearly 30 cars of the 90-car crude oil train on the Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway - one of the 45 former RailAmerica lines Genesee bought for $1.4 billion - derailed in western Alabama. Some dozen of the cars went up in flames that only finally died down by Sunday in the most dramatic U.S. accident since the oil-by-rail boom began. No one was injured or killed. ...As the rapid growth of U.S. shale oil output has outpaced the rate of pipeline construction, the geographic reach of railway lines has made crude-by-rail an attractive option. From next to nothing four years ago, railways now transport nearly one-tenth of U.S. crude output, or around 800,00 barrels per day. ...The derailment occurred above a wetlands area, which was quickly cordoned off by booms to contain the spill.... http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-oil-train-risks-analysis-20131110,0,90939.story. Anna Louie Sussman, Reuters.