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RAC: Rail, pipeline equally safe for moving crude oil


Rail and pipeline are equally safe ways to transport crude oil, according to a report commissioned by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC).

The report, "Canadian Crude Oil Transportation: Comparing the Safety of Pipelines and Railways," found that between 2012 and 2014, Canadian pipelines and Class Is together transported 252.7 billion gallons of crude oil, and 99.9997 percent of that was delivered safely without spilling, RAC officials said in a press release.

Published by consultant group Oliver Wyman, the report also assessed the movement of dangerous goods by rail from 2004 to 2014, and concluded that railroads and pipelines have equally strong safety records.

"As Canada's crude oil production grows, railways will continue to be a safe, complementary option to pipelines," said RAC President and Chief Executive Michael Bourque. "Our goal is obviously not to replace pipelines as a way to move energy products, but rather, to work collaboratively and be a complement to move these essential goods without incident."

The Canada Transportation Act requires railroads in Canada to move dangerous goods, including crude oil.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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