Skip to comments.Oil boom gives railroads new life
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 ...
I wonder if anyone can coined it “The John Galt Line” yet?
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...
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.
Regulations and EPA dictates — Obama has to go.
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.
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.
GD union thugs, punks and scum have infected everything and are part of The Enemy Within, aren’t they?
Frack Sand Bump
< /drippingsarcasmthickasmolasses >
Dump Obama and build the Keystone Pipeline!!!
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.
Let’s hope the story doesn’t end with a “Wyatt’s Torch”.
“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.
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!
Be nice - I was a liberal arts major.
Where’s Joe McCarthy when the country really needs him?
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.
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.
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.