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.”

Posts on The Northwest's Pipeline on Rails

54. What is Xylene, and What Does it Mean for Puget Sound?

A chemical you've never heard of is bound for Washington's waters.

53. What Happened When a Hazardous Substance Train Derailed on a Puget Sound Beach

True story from 2011 raises questions about railroad's ability to manage oil trains.

52. The Big Problem with Letting Small Railroads Haul Oil

The Lac-Mégantic disaster: was it just the brakes?

51. Video: The Thin Green Line

How Northwest will shape the future of the world's energy economy.

50. Event: “The Thin Green Line” in Bellingham

A presentation and Q&A on Northwest coal, oil, and gas exports.

49. How State Public Money Pays for Coal Exports and Oil Trains

Tracking public fund investments in fossil fuel projects.

48. Canada vs. the USA on Oil Train Standards

Who is number one?

47. EVENTS: Coal & Oil Trains in Bellingham, Everett

Two public panel discussions on Northwest fossil fuel exports.

46. Warren Buffett Really Likes Oil Trains

Despite the explosions.

45. Proposed Oil Train Rules: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

What new federal standards will do and what they won't.