BNSF, Canadian Pacific, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific's rising crude-oil carloads are mainly attributed to booming production in the Bakken Shale region, writes Jeff Stagl. Crude-by-rail is expected to remain a viable alternative in the future as the current trend "can last 15 to 20 years," said Vann Cunningham, BNSF assistant vice president of economic development.

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