WHERE DID THE OIL COME FROM?
In the case of the CSX train that derailed in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia, the train carrying crude oil from the Bakken shale region in North Dakota and was handed off to CSX at Chicago en route to Yorktown, Virginia.
HOW MANY TRAIN CARS WERE INVOLVED?
The National Transportation Safety Board said that 13 of the train’s 105 cars derailed and three fell into the James River. The NTSB said all of the train cars contained crude oil.
The NTSB said a team of specialists is in Lynchburg to examine the train and condition of the track. Jim Southworth, an NTSB railroad investigator, said during a briefing Thursday that he didn’t have further structural information on the track or train, but he said the train was going 24 mph at the time of the crash. The speed limit for trains in the area is 25 mph.
In a statement Thursday, CSX said it has removed the non-derailed cars from the scene, alleviating blocked road crossings in the community and providing personnel better access to the derailed cars. Efforts continue to re-rail the remaining cars, the company said.
Crews were using cranes and other heavy equipment to remove damaged rail cars.
WHERE WAS IT HEADED?
Oil comes by rail, truck or ship to Plains All American Pipeline L.P.’s Yorktown Terminal. The facility has about 6 million barrels of storage capacity for crude oil, black oil, propane, butane and refined products. It has a deep-water port on the York River where it can receive and delivery product from ships and barges. It also receives units from trains and has an unload capacity of about 140,000 barrels per day. Oil then leaves, headed for refineries along the East Coast.
The refinery was originally built in 1956 and was most notably owned by Amoco. Although it changed hands over time, it was sold to Western Refining in 2007. Texas-based Plains All American Pipeline acquired the Yorktown facility in December 2011 from Western Refining, which shut down the facility in 2010.
WHAT DOES THE STORAGE FACILITY LOOK LIKE?
The 600-acres site includes more than 50 cylindrical buildings for oil and gas storage and a long pier that extends into the York River. It is surrounded by a barbed-wire fence and guard gates.