Trains will carry ‘waxy crude’ oil through Colorado every day after Utah approves new railway | VailDaily.com
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Trains will carry ‘waxy crude’ oil through Colorado every day after Utah approves new railway

The Surface Transportation Board last month approved the Uinta Basin Railway, which will push three to 10 trains of ‘waxy crude’ through Colorado communities every day

Jason Blevins
The Colorado Sun
A passenger train in November 2021 passes through Gore Canyon along the Colorado River.
Jason Blevins/Colorado Sun

The Surface Transportation Board’s recent approval of a new 88-mile railroad in Utah’s Uinta Basin has spiked concerns that daily trains loaded with heated crude oil will be traveling along Colorado’s river corridors.

“It’s a ticking carbon bomb,” said Michael Kunkel, whose Friends of Browns Canyon last summer successful campaigned to block an expedited proposal to revive train traffic on the long dormant, 220-mile Tennessee Pass Line between Gypsum and Cañon City.

The Tennessee Pass train plan was proposed by Colorado Midland & Pacific, which promised it would only ferry passengers and perhaps construction materials on the mountainous railway owned by Union Pacific that last saw trains in 1997. The company that owns Colorado Midland & Pacific — Texas-based Rio Grande Pacific Corp. — is the planned operator of the approved Uinta Basin Railway.



The Utah railroad would connect to the national rail network, allowing trains to transport “waxy crude” to Gulf Coast refineries from the Uinta Basin in northern Utah. The railroad will increase oil production in the Uinta Basin, which has been limited by the fact the viscous crude is too thick to move through a pipeline.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.




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