Marcellus Minutes is a subscription-based newsletter sent to all subscribers registered through the Marcellus Minutes website that contains information on legislation including bill tracking, committee hearings and news from the Capitol in Harrisburg. Access to the website is free and provided to those directly involved and those with an interest in Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry.

Big Rail’s little cousins find boon in U.S. oil-by-rail bust

Amid the rolling mountains surrounding this quiet town in southwest New York state, tucked away on miles-long stretches of underused rail tracks, hundreds of idle oil tank cars attest to the extent of fallout from oil’s rout.

The oil tank cars – a year ago sought-after to haul crude from North Dakota to New Jersey – now stand idle as a result of two converging trends: the reversal in U.S. shale oil production and the completion of new pipelines.

They show how the pain from the slump in the oil-by-rail industry has spread far and wide.

Big rail lines, such as Berkshire Hathaway-owned BNSF Railways or Union Pacific are losing what used to be their fastest-growing source of new traffic; refiners such as PBF Energy are left with millions of dollars worth of unused rolling stock; and leasing firms such as Trinity Industries and Greenbrier Companies Inc have seen monthly rates fall to a third of peaks above $2000 per car.

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