BNSF_Color_Logo What is believed to be the largest frac sand unit train to date in North America was recently delivered by BNSF and Southwestern Railroad to Rangeland Energy’s RIO Hub near Loving, N.Mex. The RIO Hub is part of Rangeland’s RIO System, which serves oil and gas producers in the Delaware Basin. 

The 150-car unit train, operated by BNSF, carried 16,500 tons of frac sand used in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). Powered by five locomotives it originated in Ottawa, Ill., BNSF handed the train off to short line Southwestern Railroad at Clovis, N.Mex., for delivery to the RIO Hub. 

The unit train arrived on Oct. 2 and was unloaded within 22 hours. The sand was stored at the RIO Hub and will supply an operator with a large quantity of sand for high-volume fracking jobs in the Delaware Basin.

Read more from RailwayAge.

U.S. rail-safety regulators began a “Bakken blitz” of inspections of crude oil tank cars this week as they seek to prevent a railroad disaster in the U.S. similar to July’s fatal inferno in Quebec.

Inspectors from the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration are examining rail cars moving crude from North Dakota’s Bakken region, Cynthia Quarterman, PHMSA administrator, told reporters today during a break in a Washington meeting to discuss U.S. rail safety risks.

Read the complete story at Bloomberg News.