Skip to comments.Chrysler Vans Sitting Idle As Oil Boom Robs Rail Capacity
Posted on 04/24/2014 4:33:51 PM PDT by nascarnation
Several hundred Chrysler minivans are stuck indefinitely on a piece of prime Detroit real estate, unable to be transported across America. The reason? The fossil fuel boom in Canada and the United States is hogging much of the available rail capacity needed to transport the vans.
Citing a report by the Associated Press, the Windsor Star reports that railway capacity which is normally transport new vehicles is being eaten up by deliveries of oil from both the Alberta Oil Sands and the Bakken shale formation in the United States. According to the AP, just 9,500 railway carloads of crude were being transported in 2008, but that number exploded to 434,032 in 2013. In addition, ethanol shipments have exploded nearly fivefold since 2005, with up to 325,000 carloads being shipped last year.
One of the biggest players in energy shipments is CP Rail, a Canadian railway company that is also the major player in the Windsor, Ontario region, where Chryslers minivan plant is located. Aside from capacity issues, a CP spokesman told the Star that the extreme weather has created supply chain issues that still linger at CPs Chicago hub.
A Chrysler spokesman told the Star
We have experienced delays of delivery of our finished vehicles due to rail car shortages We are using alternative modes of transport and alternative routes where possible to move around the biggest problem areas.
Inventories of the two vans have fallen sharply in the last month. As of April 1st, Chrysler had 50 days worth of Town & Country vans, and 37 days worth of Caravans, down from 75 days and 50 days respectively on March 1st.
Obama has blocked pipeline construction to reward his railroad owning buddies like Warren Buffet.
Minivans are now shipped in Tank Cars?
Oil trains now go through Detroit on their way to Ontario?
Detroit is the second busiest freight crossing on the continent.
Engines to pull them, engines to bring back the empties to reload with cars. Much more profitable to pull tank cars, I reckon. Look for shipping surcharges to be added to the new vehicle price.
Hey! How about if we build a pipeline. That would work. Don’t ya think?
To do that they'd pretty much have to come through Chicago.
You are to smart to be a serf, you should be president.
I would think most of the crude going to Sarnia would be through the Embridge pipeline. They just doubled capacity on it.
However a lot of freight passes through Detroit both by train and truck. Availability of trains will make a difference.
It isn't about crossings at Detroit, it's about A) a nation-wide shortage of locomotives and B) trains literally having to wait for an available slot, all over the US, but especially along lines coming out of Alberta and North Dakota.
Trains around here are running almost bumper-to-bumper.
At least they don't come through here. Sounds like there are plenty running through the RR tunnel.
An increase in tank car traffic of a whopping 5,000% over 6 years.
Good thing I’m not Pres. I would piss off Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn for sure.
If there is so much oil in transit then why the heck did I just pay $4.05 a gallon for premium? I gotta get a different car.
If there is so much oil in transit then why the heck did I just pay $4.05 a gallon for premium?
I know there are restrictions in the US for NEW refineries, but why isn’t Canada building refineries ?
Doing a little digging and it looks like you’re right, a lot of oil is moving through Detroit and Windsor.
I’m betting that people in Detroit don’t have a clue that “The one” allows the danger. Looking at maps and I see a potential disaster that could kill thousands.
Some research (I’m definitely not a rail expert) indicates that oil tankers are pretty heavy per car compared to typical freight cars. So the “typical” tanker train is pulling the max weight that the locomotives can handle for the grades to be traversed at the speeds required.
Or Mexico? Plenty of other Maquiladora-type factories along the border. Why not a refinery or 25?
I was going to say Mexico, but I figured Carlos “Slim Shady” is happy to make his money from US taxes as opposed to US consumers.
There’s more single track than there used to be, so trains are limited in length by the length of the passing sidings.
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