The thirsty oil refineries on the east coast of North America are being pinched by their reliance on high priced foreign oil pegged at Brent pricing. This is significantly more expensive than shale oil coming from the Bakken formation. The largest grouping of such refineries are along the Delaware River in and south of Philadelphia. These refineries are trying to get more oil from the Bakken but generally lack rail facilities to unload product since these plants are set up to unload barges and tankers and not rail cars. There is a plan to construct one large oil car unloading facility, the product would be transferred to barges, that would then move up the coast (in some cases just a few miles) where they would be unloaded at the refinery.
http://articles.philly.com/2012-11-28/b ... stone-rail
Perhaps the barge routing from Albany to the Irving refinery in St. John would be like this. Not replacing but supplanting rail transport of Bakken crude. Of course, Irving likes to squeeze all its suppliers and by having as many suppliers as possible (MM&A, PanAm, CN) and now barge for this oil, this keeps shipment costs low. So the MM&A certainly can benefit from these oil trains but I remember the day when Irving used Iron Roads (Canadian American) against CN when routing for paper, and the revenue per unit was so low that it was hardly profitable. One thing for sure, these oil trains will be hard on the tracks and there will have to be an investment to keep them up to snuff.