Are pipelines or rail safest for transporting crude?

Report finds safety records for railways and pipelines about the same

December 29, 2015   by PLANT STAFF

OTTAWA — Which is safer: transporting crude oil by pipeline or rail? A report commissioned by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) says they’re just about the same.

Canadian Crude Oil Transportation: Comparing the Safety of Pipelines and Railways published by consultant group Oliver Wyman, compares safety data for each mode.

It found that between 2012 and 2014, Canadian pipelines and Class I railways together transported 252.7 billion gallons of crude oil, and 99.9997% of that was delivered safely without spillage.

It also assessed the movement of dangerous goods by rail from 2004 to 2014, and concluded that railways and pipelines have equally strong safety records.


Click here for a copy of the report.

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