Railcar makers rally as BNSF seeks to buy up to 5K safer oil cars

Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A, BRK.B) BNSF Railway says it plans to buy its own fleet of up to 5,000 new crude oil tank cars with safety features that exceed the latest standards adopted by the industry more than two years ago.

BNSF's plan, unusual for a railroad which generally owns only the tracks and locomotives that pull trains, is intended to further the industry's push for safer movement of crude by rail in light of several recent derailments and crashes, including one involving a BNSF train in North Dakota last December.

BNSF isn't identifying railcar makers from which it will seek bids, but U.S. manufacturers include Trinity Industries (TRN +9.5%), American Railcar Industries (ARII +10.3%) and Greenbrier (GBX +5.4%).

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Comments (8)
  • Philip Marlowe
    , contributor
    Comments (1580) | Send Message
    It should be noted that Berkshire Hathaway actually owns a tank car manufacturer. I think it is most likely that BNSF purchases all or most of those cars from Berkshires own manufacturer.
    20 Feb 2014, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • Maobama
    , contributor
    Comments (487) | Send Message
    The author states: "BNSF's plan, unusual for a railroad which generally owns only the tracks and locomotives that pull trains"


    Really? Railroads OWN boxcars, hoppers, gondolas, flatcars, etc? Railroads both own and lease all types of cars. Please fact check your work.


    This author has zero understanding of the railroad industry...
    20 Feb 2014, 10:49 AM Reply Like
  • Drew Robertson
    , contributor
    Comments (373) | Send Message
    Click around here http://bit.ly/1mw2dRz


    You'll see that about 60% of the Cars Online @ BNSF are private. And the % for tankcars is much higher than that.
    20 Feb 2014, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • bibol11
    , contributor
    Comments (290) | Send Message
    The author said that usually own only the track and locomotives. They own many other cars also. Just like they lease some track.
    20 Feb 2014, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • salvatort
    , contributor
    Comments (414) | Send Message
    At least for oil, usually the cars are owned by the oil & gas company owning the cargo, the article is correct here.
    20 Feb 2014, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • Maobama
    , contributor
    Comments (487) | Send Message
    The author implies that railroads only own locos and tracks, that's inaccurate.
    20 Feb 2014, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • Uncle Pie
    , contributor
    Comments (4323) | Send Message
    Guess there won't be any Keystone pipeline if Obama's pal Warren is buying 5,000 oil tank cars. Probably Obama will get some cushy job at Berkshire Hathaway after he leaves office. All you folks who live near the tracks where those trains are going to roll might consider moving somewhere else. Remember what happened at Lac Megantic.
    20 Feb 2014, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • soccerref
    , contributor
    Comments (25) | Send Message
    The BNSF derailment was a coal hauler. Could have been an oil hauler but it wasn't. Exceeding the industry standard is a smart move. Standard implies the minimum acceptable level of compliance.
    To Uncle Pie, see the latest developments in crude oil transportation before spouting an obsolete idea. And the aquafier in the original Keystone Pipeline route is too valuable to be jeopardized by someone transporting crude oil. "The needs of the many outweigh the wants of the few."
    20 Feb 2014, 08:28 PM Reply Like
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