Today, 1.6 million barrels of oil a day are riding the rails, about 20% of the total pumped in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration, chugging across plains and over bridges, rumbling through cities and towns on their way to refineries on the coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. If all the railcars loaded with crude on one day were hitched to a single locomotive, the resulting train would be about 29 miles long. Initially conceived as a stopgap measure until pipelines could be constructed, and plagued by high-profile safety problems, crude by rail has become a permanent part of the nation’s energy infrastructure, experts say. Even pipeline companies have jumped into the rail business, building terminals to load and unload crude.

(Source: Wall Street Journal)