Many of the nation’s highways are declining due to lack of public funds to maintain them, but this is generally good news for railroad companies, who continue to deliver much of America’s goods and crude oil by rail.
The federal and many state governments cannot agree on how to properly fund many of the nation’s highways. This has increased the volume of material being transported by rail, including crude oil and sand that is used in hydraulic fracking for oil and gas.
It is anticipated that rail shipments of oil and gas in the US will continue to climb, especially from the Bakken crude region in North Dakota.
However, there are some bumps in the road, due to frequent safety problems that have caused some oil trains to derail and even catch fire in Canada and the US. It will be very important for railroad companies to continue to implement policies that reduce the chance for train derailments and oil spills around North America, if they want to continue to see this sort of increase in business.
As with many business enterprises, a focus on profits often comes at the expense of safety. In Virginia, we often work as personal injury lawyers involving train accidents that injure or kill people, and we hope that railroads will continue to carefully weigh safety against profits as they move goods around the continent’s railways.