The increase in oil transportation via rail has been targeted as the cause of slower rail transit for other goods, as well as personal travel by train. According to The Christian Science Monitor, slow pipeline production and struggles with regulation are pushing more oil and gas companies to transport their product via rail. This is causing delays for Amtrak and cargo transit, however, as trains fight for space on the nation's limited rail infrastructure.
"Oil just tends to be more valuable than other products," Adie Tomer, a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, told the news source. "As more and more oil comes online, the freight companies want to ship more."
Rail carries about 11 percent of total oil shipments in the United States, a 10 percent jump over the last five years. This is pushing other cargo-carrying trains off the tracks, while causing major delays for passenger trains as well. This is causing a backlog problem across the nation, and starting to have an impact on the profits in other industries, the source reported.
Increased construction of pipelines could address these concerns, but this has been a controversial topic in the U.S. lately. Firms will need to ensure proper planning, both in route and accident prevention, go into any pipeline projects. This will address residential concerns, industry worries and ensure that any new oil movement strategies meet OSHA regulations for worker safety.
Bringing on safety consultants to ensure proper behavior based safety programs and training are in place can minimize risk going forward while helping establish a more positive mindset toward pipeline construction in the U.S.