The Texas Tribune reports that "in December, a new terminal in the Port of Beaumont welcomed its first customer: a train carrying 43,000 barrels of crude oil from Colorado. Workers at the terminal, the Jefferson Transload Railport, transferred the crude to a barge, which traveled down the Neches River to a nearby refinery."
"As shale fields scattered across the Midwest and West Texas produce millions of barrels of crude oil, energy companies are finding the national pipeline network insufficient to transport their output. Railroads are increasingly picking up the slack, and Jefferson Energy Companies, based in The Woodlands, is one of several companies investing millions of dollars to help transport crude by rail, a business that was nearly nonexistent just five years ago."
“'We never thought we competed with pipeline until four years ago when we moved our first unit train of crude by rail,' Dean Wise, a vice president for BNSF Railway, based in Fort Worth, said at a rail conference in January. 'Now BNSF is moving eight trains a day.'”
"In Texas, the crude-by-rail boom has led to construction of facilities to help deliver the product to Gulf Coast refineries. It has also drawn concerns about the safety of moving such volatile materials throughout the state, in light of a spate of recent accidents."