Oil-by-rail transport has grown from approximately 500 rail cars in 2009 to 140,000 cars in 2014.
These oil rail cars are filled with volatile, flammable, and toxic substances prone to violent explosions and spills when the trains derail. It is estimated that roughly a dozen oil trains have exploded in the United States and Canada during 2013-2015, including one in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec that left 47 people dead.
Despite the calls by many to reduce these risks by taking oil trains off the tracks, the oil industry continues to propose massive new rail terminals like the proposed expansion of the Hardisty Rail Terminal in Alberta. With the total capacity to ship up to 336,000 barrels a day of Alberta’s heavy oil and bitumen, the proposed expansion in Hardisty would make this new super terminal Canada’s largest oil-by-rail loading facility.