Crude from Colorado rides train to new railport

By Dan Wallach

BEAUMONT — A Union Pacific train carrying 70 tanker cars of crude oil from Colorado rolled into the Port of Beaumont’s Orange County Terminal  last week — the first to arrive at a new facility built for such shipments.

Called a unit train because it carried a single cargo to one destination, it brought 43,000 barrels of oil from the Niobrara Shale in Colorado to the Jefferson Transload Railport for use by an area refinery.

A shortage of pipelines serving developing shale plays has been a boon for crude rail transportation.

Jefferson Energy Companies spent about $47 million developing the railport, with two 100,000-barrel storage tanks under construction and plans for a new dock to accommodate refinery-bound barges.