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Even that is only the beginning: Plans are being laid to carry crude from the oil sands, as rail enters a head-to-head competition with the pipelines that have dominated the oil patch for the better part of a century.
Crude-by-rail transportation in North America overall is expected to increase next year, in part because of opposition to new pipeline projects. Consequently, Canadian oil companies are considering rail as a long-term alternative as railroads ramp up capacity. "What we're discovering as we open up our destination matrix is that rail can get to markets that pipelines don't serve now and really have no intention of serving," said Tracy Robinson, CP energy and merchandise vice president. "We do believe it will be a permanent model."
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