Railroads Caught by Speed of Crude-Oil Collapse

The slowdown that North American railroad companies had been bracing for in crude oil shipments has turned into a rout, with volumes falling faster than executives had predicted. With energy companies scaling back drilling after prices for the commodity fell about 50% since July, industry executives and analysts anticipated that demand for hauling crude and extraction materials such as frac sand and pipes would slow after a four-year surge. They didn’t expect it to slow this much this fast.