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Oil boom gives railroads new life
Minneapolis Star Tribune ^ | August 19, 2012 | ADAM BELZ

Posted on 08/19/2012 3:10:20 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

CAMERON, WIS. - The last time a train crawled east out of Cameron, rolling through town at about 5 miles per hour, a railroad worker stood on the front of the locomotive, peering at the warped rail and broken ties to make sure the train wouldn't slip off the track.

The railroad gave the line over to weeds and saplings for more than a decade. The state almost turned it into a bike trail.

But now Canadian National Railway is spending $35 million to rebuild the track. Why? Frac sand.

Voracious demand for the hard, round sand of Wisconsin and Minnesota has abruptly reversed a decades-long decline in the region's railroads. Stacks of fresh railroad ties sit in bundles along lines heading four directions from Cameron, a small town 90 miles northeast of the Twin Cities. Construction crews swarm over rail crossings at Weyerhaeuser and rebuild a century-old bridge over Eagle Creek just north of Chippewa Falls.

Hydraulic fracturing -- the oil drilling technique widely known as "fracking" -- has created a major new business for railroads, because each horizontal well requires between 3,000 and 10,000 tons of sand. Drillers in North Dakota and elsewhere need the sand -- together with water, chemicals and organic lubricants -- to break up shale thousands of feet underground that holds natural gas and oil.

The demand -- about 60 new sand mines are in the works in Wisconsin -- is reviving sleepy trade routes. Railroads are striking deals with a spate of new sand processing plants, bringing dormant rail lines back into service, upgrading tracks and building rail yards and loading facilities across the Upper Midwest.

That has helped small-town industry that depends on freight trains, helping preserve jobs and clearing the way for industrial development.....

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: economy; jobs; minnesota; oil; railroads; wisconsin; work

1 posted on 08/19/2012 3:10:29 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Publius

I wonder if anyone can coined it “The John Galt Line” yet?


2 posted on 08/19/2012 3:15:18 AM PDT by Explorer89 (And now, let the wild rumpus start!!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The criminal, corrupt EPA is busy devising ways of shutting-down fracking, everywhere. They and the Kenyan POS are determined to destroy America’s ability to innovate anything. The “illegal transport of sand” laws are coming...


3 posted on 08/19/2012 3:26:02 AM PDT by carriage_hill (Harry Reid [PERVERT-NV] has Vickie-the-goat in lingerie & stiletto heels, tied-up in his office.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

BUMP


4 posted on 08/19/2012 3:28:22 AM PDT by kitkat
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To: carriage_hill
Actually its a horse race between the EPA and the railroad unions working hard to make the business economically not feasible.
5 posted on 08/19/2012 4:10:26 AM PDT by JIM O
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Sounds like real recovery to me.

Sadly, if they tried that in my area of Pa., they’d have a tough time because they’ve turned several railroads into walking/bike trails. A nice thought...but extremely short-sighted. I seriously doubt another rail line could ever be built in Pa. Overeulation (County/State/Federal) would make it impossible.


6 posted on 08/19/2012 4:17:30 AM PDT by SueRae (See it? Hell, I can TASTE November from my house!)
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To: SueRae; JIM O

Regulations and EPA dictates — Obama has to go.


7 posted on 08/19/2012 4:36:14 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: SueRae

Part of the Rails to Trails legislation is that the route can revert back to railroad use. That little feature is something that few enviros are aware of.


8 posted on 08/19/2012 4:37:16 AM PDT by Fred Hayek (The Democratic Party is the operational wing of CPUSA.)
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To: SueRae

That’s how you spot a culture in decline. Could the wealth they’re living on be replicated in their modern culture? If no, it’s lights out.


9 posted on 08/19/2012 5:11:36 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: JIM O

GD union thugs, punks and scum have infected everything and are part of The Enemy Within, aren’t they?


10 posted on 08/19/2012 5:12:08 AM PDT by carriage_hill (Harry Reid [PERVERT-NV] has Vickie-the-goat in lingerie & stiletto heels, tied-up in his office.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Frack Sand Bump


11 posted on 08/19/2012 5:42:34 AM PDT by CPT Clay (Follow me on Twitter @Clay N TX)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Just imagine how much better off the railroads would be if they were hauling more profitable, stable and renewable things like windmills, solar panels and electric cars.

< /drippingsarcasmthickasmolasses >

12 posted on 08/19/2012 5:50:38 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys=Can't drive, can't ski, can't fly, can't skipper a boat, but they know what's best for you.)
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Dump Obama and build the Keystone Pipeline!!!


13 posted on 08/19/2012 5:54:16 AM PDT by Kolath
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To: carriage_hill

They will make it so that the sand has to be tested for “environmental concerns”

Of course the tests will be conducted on THEIR time schedule and the cost will be so high that it will destroy them.

See, that’s how MARXISTS work.


14 posted on 08/19/2012 6:23:22 AM PDT by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: Explorer89

15 posted on 08/19/2012 6:28:54 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Roger Taney? Not a bad Chief Justice. John Roberts? A really awful Chief Justice.)
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To: Explorer89

Let’s hope the story doesn’t end with a “Wyatt’s Torch”.


16 posted on 08/19/2012 6:44:24 AM PDT by headsonpikes (Mass murder and cannibalism are the twin sacraments of socialism - "Who-whom?"-Lenin)
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To: Fred Hayek

“Part of the Rails to Trails legislation is that the route can revert back to railroad use. That little feature is something that few enviros are aware of”

There are a number of routes out of Chicago where this could apply to including the old “North Shore “ line which part of that right of way could have been used for the AMTRAC Hiawatha run and truly make it a high speed run.
In certain cases high speed rail would work but ; These public right of ways like “heritage trails” include unused canal beds or median strips on our X-ways are being ignored because some politican or a “relative” can’t make any money off of it.


17 posted on 08/19/2012 6:58:15 AM PDT by mosesdapoet (The best way to punish a - country is let professors run it. Fredrick the Great p/p)
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To: carriage_hill

I turn my head to the left and look out my window over the lake and up the hill and see a derrick drilling for natural gas as I type this...Progress, wealth and energy independence, aside from a check for royalties paid to us, is a part of that effort. The activity going on here in NE PA is astounding, and all good....not a single mishap in this area from the drilling, fracking or building the pipeline....some technical problems but they are handled and the work goes on. This is the new Texas and it is great!


18 posted on 08/19/2012 7:44:24 AM PDT by Shady (The Tea Party is the Party of the American People, Working and creating wealth in SPITE of OBAMA!)
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To: Explorer89


19 posted on 08/19/2012 8:18:19 AM PDT by Iron Munro ("Jiggle the Handle for Barry!")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Technical question: why is it that they can only use this certain kind of sand found in Wisconsin and Minnesota? Why can't they use sand nearer the frac site?

Be nice - I was a liberal arts major.

20 posted on 08/19/2012 9:32:21 AM PDT by Gluteus Maximus
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To: unixfox

Where’s Joe McCarthy when the country really needs him?


21 posted on 08/19/2012 10:35:49 AM PDT by carriage_hill (Harry Reid [PERVERT-NV] has Vickie-the-goat in lingerie & stiletto heels, tied-up in his office.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

If I understand correctly, one of the reasons that Zippy nixed the pipeline was so that his cronies could reap huge profits by moving oil via rail.

I think Buffet is a major investor in rail. Maybe Soros, too.


22 posted on 08/19/2012 10:59:05 AM PDT by generally (Don't be stupid. We have politicians for that.)
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To: Gluteus Maximus

RE: the sand necessary for fracking - two weeks ago the St. Cloud Times ran a five-day series about the ND poil boom in the Bakken basin.

They mentioned the need for a specific type of sand that was fine and uniformly round that was needed for the process of fracking. Perhaps a search on Google will clarify this. In SE Minnesota, sand is being “mined” to send to the western ND oil fields. I am surprised the Mpls Strib actually published the article as it confirms the ecomonic rewards of this oil boom, and how far away from Williston the ecomonies of MN and WI are being stimulated from this oil boom.

The SC Times began its series on Aug. 5th and ran it for 5 straight days. SC contractors are building huge apartment complexes in Williston. These require plummers and electricians who are being subcontracted from central MN to go to Williston to do the work. A local appliance dealer has been subcontracted to sell, ship, and install the appliances. Polar Tank Trailors of Holdingford, MN is manufacturing lots of tanks for trucks to move oil, sand, and other items to the oil fields. Knife River industries is a local contracter and is building roads in the Williston area. This is the tip of the “iceberg” that is building up the Williston-Dickinson metro areas to accomodate the workers and families of the employees who are moving to the area. If all this economic stimulus is happening in St. Cloud which is about 500 miles east of Williston, imagine how many other places are also feeling the stimulus!! We cannot be the only metro area to benefit from this.

This type of economic boom could be multiplying exponentially if we could get the federal government to cease its anti-business policies. We have a POTUS who does not want to see the USA succeed econmoically because it will diminish his personal power over the citizens. We must defeat him in November.


23 posted on 08/19/2012 12:20:58 PM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: Gumdrop

PS: please excuse my typing errors. Sometimes my fingers get mixed up, and sometimes I fail to actually press the key down far enough to get the character into the word.


24 posted on 08/19/2012 12:25:22 PM PDT by Gumdrop
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