In 2008, a mere 18,000 barrels of oil per day traveled around the U.S. on trains. As of 2013, that number was in the neighborhood of 600,000 barrels per day. As the volume of oil transported by rail has soared, so have the number of high-profile derailments. In fact, we have had two derailments in as many weeks, the most recent coming Tuesday night when a Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI) freight train derailed outside of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick.
Analysts will tell you that the incidents -- outright tragedies in some cases -- will have little effect on rail volumes, though we may see increases in regulation. In this video, Fool.com contributor Aimee Duffy talks about the importance of evaluating your holdings based on changes in the oil by rail narrative, focusing on Bakken oil patch players like Continental Resources (NYSE:CLR) and Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE:EEP).