Crude-by-rail is expected to become a major source of business for freight railroads in the near future as oil producers continue to invest in rail facilities, Canadian National said. "A number of people in the U.S. Gulf on our CN line are investing into receiving facilities," said Jean-Jacques Ruest, CN chief marketing officer. "More and more players are looking at going the way of unit trains." U.S. crude-by-rail carloads rose to around 340,000 barrels per day last year from an estimated 11,000 in 2007, according to the Association of American Railroads.

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