May 23rd, 2015
May 05th, 2015
Fuel For Thought
BNSF Expands Bakken Oil Transport Capacity to One Million Barrels per day
BNSF Railway (BNSF) announced that it has increased capacity in 2012 to enable the railroad to haul one million barrels per day out of the Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana. This increased capacity will allow the energy industry to continue the record expansion of oil production in the Williston Basin and to ship the new production to markets throughout the U.S. It will also benefit shippers of other commodities, including agricultural products.
“Historically, oil and gas producers have used pipelines to transport crude from production to refineries and ultimately on to end users,” said John Lanigan, BNSF executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Because this shale development growth came about so quickly, there has been a shortage of pipeline capacity to deliver production from new unconventional sources to coastal refiners. BNSF has responded quickly to enable producers to move crude to the most attractive markets and secure the best prices.”
Today, through direct and interline service, ‘BNSF’s network reaches all major coastal and inland markets, and it directly serves 30 percent of U.S. refineries in 14 states. BNSF currently has 1,000 miles of rail line in the Williston Basin area and serves eight originating terminals with two more scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012. BNSF connects to 16 of the top 19 oil producing counties in Central and Western North Dakota, and five of the six oil producing counties in Eastern Montana.
“BNSF has been hauling Bakken crude out of the Williston Basin area for over five years. In that time, we have seen the volume increase nearly 7,000 percent, from 1.3 million barrels in 2008 to 88.9 million in 2012,” said Dave Garin, BNSF group vice president, Industrial Products. “We see this trend continuing and we are committed to serving this growing market now and in the future.”
BNSF has been able to achieve this increase in capacity due to increased investment, maintenance and hiring efforts.
BNSF is investing $197 million in 2012 on projects in North Dakota and Montana. Some of those projects include 2,188 miles of track surfacing, two new inspection tracks, raising track at Devil’s Lake, replacement of 121 miles of rail and about 332,000 rail ties, as well as signal upgrades and equipment acquisitions.
Since 2011, BNSF has hired more than 560 new employees to fill existing and newly created positions in North Dakota and Montana. These employees include crews to help deliver the inbound freight that supports drilling efforts and the outbound crude to destination markets throughout the U.S.
In addition to hiring new employees in the field, BNSF has also formed a dedicated Unit Energy Desk that works directly with our customers to help coordinate and plan unit train movements to and from the Williston Basin. With an expanded team, the Unit Energy Desk provides customers a single-source point of contact for their rail operations planning needs.
BNSF has also employed numerous efficiency enhancements to increase capacity on routes into and out of the Williston Basin. These include working with our customers to increase train sizes from 100 to 104 tank cars and in some cases up to 118 tank cars, adding signalization and sidings along key routes, and identifying and developing the most efficient routes.
Note from Rick Mills: I suggest that you also view this photo essay on the Bakken by photographer Travis Dewitz – http://www.dewitzphotography.com/personal-photography-projects/the-black-gold-rush-bakken-formation-oil-boom/
Flooding on the Missouri River is creating operational challenges for the railroads of the region – including the Union Pacific. To raise their former C&NW transcon line at Missouri Valley, Iowa, by at least three feet, the UP is hauling rock and ballast from the Everist pits at Dell Rapids and Hawarden by the trainload 24/7. Turnaround times and motive power shortages on the D&I line are also dictating the use of UP power on some trains. A set of UP power leads a northbound empty over the Minnehaha Falls in downtown Sioux Falls toward Dell Rapids on June 9.
Thanks to Mike Mancuso of Sioux Falls for this nice view.
Congrats to the NNW!
The U.S. Department of Transportation has given final approval to a $4.9 million grant for the Nebraska Northwestern Railroad’s project to rehabilitate rail lines in and around Chadron, Senator Ben Nelson announced today (Tuesday, April 12).
The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER II) program grant award was announced in October, but funding was put in question by budget proposals in the U.S. House of Representatives. Nelson said in a news release that the attempt to cut funding for the project failed to pass the U.S. Senate.
Nebraska Northwestern Railroad (NNW) announced last fall a $6.1 million project to upgrade rail lines and bridges in the Chadron yard and west to Crawford, where the line joins a major Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line.
The four-year old railroad company plans to use the existing Chadron roundhouse and yard for repair and refurbishing of railroad engines and other specialized equipment. The wooden roundhouse is one of only a few left in existence in the region, and is large enough to handle some of the biggest diesel engines currently in use.
“We are very excited about (the grant),” Terry Doyle, vice president of operations for NNR said in a brief phone interview Tuesday.
“This grant will ensure continued rail service to Chadron. This creates the opportunity to develop rail-related services and business in Northwestern Nebraska, which will create jobs and provide stimulus to the area economy,” NNW President Jack Nielsen said in the news release.
KEYSTONE – The Rev. Dr. Robert T. Wagner, 78, Keystone, passed away peacefully Jan. 17, 2011, at the Dougherty House, Prince of Peace Hospice in Sioux Falls, of complications caused by lung cancer.
Wagner was born Oct. 30, 1932, in Sioux Falls, to H.H. and Helen Wagner. He spent his childhood in Sioux Falls and on the family farm in Bridgewater. Wagner graduated from Washington High School in 1950, where he was senior class president and excelled in debate and extemporaneous speaking. He then went on to obtain his Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College in 1954 with a major in Philosophy.
Wagner was married to Mary K. Mumford of Howard on June 23, 1954. The couple moved to Evanston, Ill., where Wagner studied theology at Seabury Western Seminary. Their first child, Christopher, was born in 1956. Wagner received a Masters of Divinity from Seabury in 1957, and returned to Sioux Falls where he was ordained a priest in the Episcopal church, and assumed the roles of vicar at St. Peter’s Church and Chaplain at All Saints School. A second child, Andrea, was born in 1961. During this period, Wagner was entrusted with supervision of the planning and construction of the new Church of the Holy Apostles in Sioux Falls, which was dedicated in 1962. In 1964 Wagner became rector of Trinity Church in Watertown, where he was again responsible for the construction a new church building for that congregation, which was dedicated in 1965. He continued his formal education, receiving a Masters of Sacred Theology from Seabury Western Seminary in 1970.
Wagner relocated to Brookings in 1971, where he earned a Ph.D. in sociology from South Dakota State University in 1972.
Wagner was appointed Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology in 1971, and became a full Professor in 1978.
He taught a number of subjects, including an extremely popular course in Marriage and the Family and was the recipient of University Teacher of the Year on multiple occasions. He was also the author of 64 publications, and chaired numerous academic committees. Beginning in 1980, Wagner joined the administration at SDSU where he served as Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 1984 he became Vice President of Dakota State College in Madison, and in 1985 he was appointed the President of South Dakota State University, a position he held until his retirement in 1997.
During Wagner’s tenure at SDSU, the University experienced substantial growth in enrollment, and the completion of a number of major building and infrastructure projects.
Among Wagner’s initiatives was an enlarged emphasis on the University Endowment as an increasingly important contributor to the sustained expansion of the institution. In recognition of his achievements as an educator and administrator, Wagner was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters from Augustana College in 1994, a Doctor of Public Service to SDSU and the State of South Dakota by the South Dakota Board of Regents in 1998, a Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of South Dakota in 2001 and a Doctor of Divinity by Seabury Western Theological Seminary in 2002.
Upon retirement from SDSU, the Wagners moved to their home in the Black Hills above Keystone. Among Wagner’s many interests were trains and railroading, and he was instrumental in founding the South Dakota State Railroad Museum in Hill City. Following the death of his spouse Mary in 2004, Wagner renewed his activities in the church, and served as rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Rapid City from 2005-2006, and Canon and Dean Emeritus of Cavalry Cathedral in Sioux Falls from 2006-2009.
Through his talents as a communicator, his scholarship, his dedication to teaching and learning and his deep religious faith, Robert Wagner touched many lives. He consecrated his life to his students, his parishioners and his family and to reinforcing the values of South Dakota and the Christian faith.
Wagner is survived by a son, Christopher, and his spouse, Johanna, of Geneva, Switzerland; a daughter, Andrea Radke of Irene; three brothers, Peter and his spouse, Connie, of Sibley, Iowa, John and his spouse, Annie, of Sioux Falls, and Tom and his spouse, Tenia, of Omaha, Neb.; his stepmother, Ann Wagner of Sioux Falls; and four grandchildren, Erin, Lee, Lara and Helena.
He was predeceased by his spouse, former state senator Mary K. Wagner, in 2004.
In accordance with his wishes, Wagner will be cremated.
A Memorial Requiem Eucharist will be offered at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the Calvary Cathedral in Sioux Falls, and at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Rapid City. Bishop John T. Tarrant will officiate at both services, which will be followed by a reception.
In lieu of flowers, a Robert T. and Mary K. Wagner Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at South Dakota State University in Brookings.
Edstrom & Rooks Funeral Service at Serenity Springs of Rapid City is in charge of arrangements.
Friends may sign his online guest register and offer condolences at www.serenityspringsfuneralchapel.com.
The best place to read and stay you up to date on all the wonderful things happening at The South Dakota State Railroad Museum in Hill City.