U.S. Gulf Coast refiners, in addition to Canadian oil sands producers, stand to benefit if the southern portion of TransCanada's (NYSE:TRP) Keystone XL pipeline gains approval. While the debate continues, railway companies continue to profit.

In 2009 Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-B) purchased the remaining outstanding shares of Burlington Northern Sante Fe for $26 billion (total purchase price of $44 billion), adding one of the United States' largest railroad companies to its portfolio. BNSF continues to take advantage of crude pipeline bottlenecks by moving oil from wellheads to refineries, and this trend will continue with the company expecting a 40% boost in crude shipments in 2013. 

The growth has been phenomenal with crude-by-rail shipments soaring over 250% in 2012, moving close to 170 million barrels of oil. Berkshire's BNSF is not the only company in on the action. Check out the video below for other players profiting from the sharp rise in rail transportation.  

Joel South has no position in any stocks mentioned. Taylor Muckerman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.