RailServe.com: Rail Travel, Hobby & Industry
Home Page Search RailServe.com Railroad Events Calendar Railroad Jobs Railroad Classified Ads Train Games and Simulators Railroad Webcams Amtrak Promo Code Records and Statistics Sales About RailServe.com

U.S. Crude By Rail Volume & Carloads

This table presents quarterly and annual U.S. volumes of crude oil transported by rail.

Crude by rail volumes have increased significantly since 2009 due to a sharp rise in U.S. crude oil production associated with "fracking" and high oil prices. Much of the increase has occurred in the Bakken/Williston region in North Dakota. Other significant shale deposits generating crude by rail volume include Marcellus (Pennsylvania & Ohio), Eagle Ford (Texas), Barnett (Texas), Permian (Texas & New Mexico), and Niobrara (Wyoming & Colorado). This rapid growth coupled with high profile accidents such as Lac-Mégantic have resulted in considerable public debate and regulatory actions to further improve rail safety and the DOT-111 tank car design.

Growth has moderated in recent quarters due to reduced oil prices. A reduction in oil prices makes U.S. drilling less competitive and results in reduced output. April 2015 was the first monthly year-over-year decline in crude-by-rail volume since 2006, with monthly barrels falling to 29.8 million.

The differential between U.S. carloads originated and carloads terminated began to expand in 2013 due to increasing imports from the oil sands of Western Canada.

A single 30,000 gallon tank car holds approximately 680 barrels of oils, thus barrel and carload statistics are highly correlated. Unit trains can consist of up to 120 railcars and carry more 80,000 barrels of oil.

Data from Association of American Railroads (AAR) and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), with calculations and analysis by RailServe.com.

See also: State Railroad Statistics, Traffic Volume Statistics, Traffic Mix Statistics, and Financial Statistics

Note: This page is copyright © RailServe.com. Content may not be reproduced in whole or in part on any website, message board, or other medium. A link to this page is required when citing figures or charts. Please contact us with any questions.

Quarterly U.S. Crude By Rail Volumes

  Year Quarter Carloads Originated Carloads Terminated Total Carloads
Year-Over-Year
Barrels Transported Barrels Year-Over-Year
  2005   6,032 6,107   4,152,000 (est.)  
  2006   4,729 4,674 ( 23% ) 3,215,000 (est.) ( 23% )
  2007   5,912 5,897 26% 4,035,000 (est.) 26%
  2008   9,500 9,344 60% 6,460,000 (est.) 60%
  2009   10,840 10,966 16% 7,456,000 (est.) 15%
    First 2,860 2,976   2,023,000 (est.)  
    Second 2,498 2,512   1,709,000 (est.)  
    Third 2,832 2,795   1,923,000 (est.)  
    Fourth 2,650 2,683   1,801,000 (est.)  
  2010   29,605 29,673 172% 20,158,000 170%
    First 3,395 3,385 16% 2,345,000 16%
    Second 6,784 6,723 170% 4,598,000 169%
    Third 8,583 8,459 203% 5,866,000 205%
    Fourth 10,843 11,106 312% 7,349,000 308%
  2011   65,751 67,102 124% 45,374,000 125%
    First 11,324 11,973 244% 8,275,000 253%
    Second 11,390 11,631 70% 7,834,000 70%
    Third 16,789 16,777 97% 11,500,000 96%
    Fourth 26,247 26,721 141% 17,765,000 142%
  2012   233,700 236,556 254% 160,542,000 254%
    First 36,544 36,379 213% 24,005,000 190%
    Second 51,474 53,163 355% 34,580,000 341%
    Third 64,658 65,810 289% 45,062,000 292%
    Fourth 81,024 81,204 206% 56,895,000 220%
  2013   407,642 434,042 79% 297,152,000 85%
    First 97,135 99,173 169% 68,644,000 186%
    Second 108,605 117,509 116% 80,187,000 132%
    Third 93,312 103,219 51% 70,199,000 56%
    Fourth 108,590 114,141 37% 78,122,000 37%
  2014   493,126 541,293 23% 371,235,000 25%
    First 110,164 123,543 19% 84,438,000 23%
    Second 119,634 134,998 13% 90,285,000 13%
    Third 132,257 139,476 38% 95,370,000 36%
    Fourth 131,071 143,276 23% 101,142,000 29%
  2015            
    First 113,089 134,867 6% 91,570,000 8%
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseSite MapContact Copyright RailServe.com (Christopher Muller)