The availability of service from railroads such as BNSF and Canadian National and a rising demand for crude oil in certain regions have contributed to the rapid transition from distributing the oil by pipeline to freight rail shipping. The output from major oil fields, including the Bakken Region, has grown so fast that around a quarter of the daily 425,000-barrel production is now being serviced by rail, according to BNSF. CN also notices the change, seeing "customers shift business to CN in response to the increased demand as we have the ability to respond quickly to the market," said James Cairn, CN vice president of petroleum and chemicals.

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