Sightline Series

The Northwest's Pipeline on Rails

Since 2012, nearly a dozen plans have emerged to ship large quantities of crude oil by train to Northwest refineries and port terminals. This would be a major change for the Northwest’s energy economy, yet so far, the proposals have largely escaped notice. This series begins with a report that is the first comprehensive, region-wide review of all the oil-by-rail projects planned or currently operating in the Pacific Northwest, and it proceeds with updates on and analysis of their development.

For analysis of the traffic impacts of oil and coal trains in communities throughout the Northwest, see the series “The Wrong Side of the Tracks.”

For analysis of potential spills on Northwest waters, see the series “The Risk of Northwest Oil Spills.”

Posts on The Northwest's Pipeline on Rails

68. 1 Million Barrels a Day, 100 Trains a Week

A new oil train analysis for the Northwest.

67. Events: Oil Trains in Spokane, WA, and Sandpoint, ID

What the onslaught of coal and oil trains means for area residents.

66. Event: Coastal Washington, the Oil Industry’s Sacrifice Zone

I'll join Grays Harbor area leaders for a free community forum on oil trains.

65. Event: Oil Trains in Anacortes

Discussing the facts on oil trains in Skagit County.

64. Oil Train Explosions: A Timeline in Pictures

Ten explosions in two years, and no end in sight.

63. Six Pictures that Illustrate the Staggering Growth in Oil by Rail

Where does it come from, and where does it go?

62. Failure to Report

A pattern of secrecy by major oil train hauler puts public at risk.

61. What the Oso Landslide Teaches Us About Oil Trains

Landslides along Puget Sound rail lines pose serious risk.

60. Debating Coal and Oil Exports

Video: what fossil fuel plans mean for the region.

59. Event: Southwest Washington—the Oil Industry’s Sacrifice Zone?

Eric de Place and Vancouver area experts discuss Big Oil's designs on the city.