Federal Preemption May Be The Key For Calif. Railroads

November 17, 2014


Railroad operators across the U.S. are seeing a bright future due to the resurgence in freight rail traffic. Intermodal (i.e., cargo container) shipping is booming. In 2013, intermodal volume on the major railroads totaled 12.8 million containers, the highest on record.[1] Demand for frac sand — industrial sand used in hydraulic fracturing — continues to rise dramatically due to the rapid expansion of domestic oil and gas production. Most of that sand is shipped by rail: Between 2010 and 2013, annual shipments of industrial sand doubled to approximately 375,000 carloads, with frac sand as the primary driver.[2] And the amount of crude oil being shipped by rail continues to rise at a steady pace: over 407,000 carloads in 2013, and over 229,000 carloads in the first half of 2014, compared with only 9,500 carloads in 2008.[3]

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