Oliver Wyman for the Railway Association of Canada
[Green Car Congress] Railways and pipelines are equally safe means of transporting crude oil, according to a report comparing safety data for each mode. The report—Canadian Crude Oil Transportation: Comparing the Safety of Pipelines and Railways—was published by consultant group Oliver Wyman last month, and was commissioned by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC).
Prior to 2012, rail moved less than 6,000 tank cars of fuel oil and crude oil per year. Beginning in 2012, however, the amount of crude oil transported by rail began to grow. By 2014, more than 15% of Canadian crude oil (in gallon-miles) was being transported by rail…
The report found that between 2012 and 2014, Canadian pipelines and Class I railways together transported 252.7 billion gallons of crude oil, and 99.9997% of that was delivered safely without spillage.
The paper used crude oil data for Canada’s two largest Class I railways: Canadian National Railway Company (CN) and Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP). These two carriers together transport more than 99% of the Canadian crude oil that is transported by rail.
It also assessed the movement of dangerous goods by rail from 2004 to 2014, and concluded that railways and pipelines have equally strong safety records.