As the oil and gas industry faces increased hardship to get approval for new pipelines, some are turning to train tracks to solve the transportation problem.

Calgary-based Gibson Energy announced plans to develop a crude rail terminal near Hardisty, Alberta on Tuesday, to accommodate increasing Canadian production.

Developed in partnership with U.S. Development Group LLC (USDG), the terminal will be served by Canadian Pacific Railway.

"The Hardisty Rail Terminal will give Canadian oil producers flexibility to obtain the best value for their product and refiners expanded access to price advantaged crude oil supplies," said Mike Day, USDG's vice president.

The announcement comes just a week after plans for the Alberta Crude Terminal, a new facility near Edmonton, were announced.

The Hardisty Rail Terminal will have an initial capacity of 140,000 barrels of crude per day. It will handle two trains per day of up to 120 rail cars each and is targeted to begin operation in 2014.

Concerns over transporting crude by rail were intensified after an oil train derailment in Quebec that killed 47 people.

The runaway train carrying 72 carloads of crude derailed, hurtled down an incline and slammed into downtown Lac-Megantic where several cars exploded.

Canadian transportation authorities banned one-man crews for trains with dangerous goods last month, responding to calls for tougher regulations after the tragedy.

"The disaster brought to light several industry practices which have caused some concern," said Gerard McDonald, assistant deputy minister of safety and security at Transport Canada.

The Lac-Megantic derailment occurred less than two weeks after a train carrying petroleum product derailed on a Calgary bridge, as the city dealt with the aftermath of the devastating June flood.

Emergency crews worked to pump all of the oil products off six tanker cars that were teetering on the broken bridge and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi lashed out at the railway, saying he had concerns about the timing of the bridge inspection in relation to flooding that swamped the city.

Canadian Pacific Railway has had at least six derailments since March this year, three of which spilled oil.

Rail and pipelines play different roles in getting crude oil to market but increased pressure on pipeline approvals has seen companies investing more in rail transport.

While pipelines - many of which have been delayed amid fervent environmental opposition and political wrangling - are seen as a stable, long-term solution, rail is seen as a flexible stop-gap measure and a way to tap into markets that aren't served by pipelines.

"I don't think anyone in the oilpatch was thinking that rail was going to be sort of the ideal full, long-term solution for getting products to market, getting oil to market," said Dylan Jones of the Canada West Foundation think-tank.

"It's clearly been playing a really critical role in dealing with what happens while pipelines are getting approved."

Cenovus Energy is also aiming to ship 10,000 barrels of oil per day by rail this year and increase that to 30,000 barrels a year later, as the fates of contentious pipeline projects remain undecided, according to chief executive Brian Ferguson.

He called the deadly July train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Que., "truly a very tragic situation," and said that safety in all of the company's operations were of paramount importance.

Gibson Energy has already secured four companies who will use the terminal to ship 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

With files from The Canadian Press

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  • March 27: About 114,000 litres of oil spilled near Parkers Prairie, Minn., when 14 cars derailed. In this photo from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shows crews at the scene of a Canadian Pacific train derailment that spilled thousands of gallons of crude oil near Parkers Prairie in western Minnesota on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

  • April 3: A derailment of 22 cars west of White River, Ont., caused the spill of 110,000 litres of light crude oil and 22,500 litres of canola oil. A broken train wheel and broken track were recovered from the scene. In this photo, surveyors work next to Canadian Pacific Rail trains which are parked on the train tracks in Toronto on Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

  • April 28: Seventeen cars carrying potash derailed near Provost, Alta. In this photo, a sulphur train in the Prairies is pictured.

  • May 21: A freight train jumped the tracks near Jansen, Sask., and spilled 91,000 litres of oil. In this photo, crews work to clean up five Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd tankers containing oils that derailed near Jansen, Sask. on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

  • June 2: A car derailed near Wanup, Ont., struck a rail trestle and collapsed bridge into a stream.

  • Crews work to stabilize a Canadian Pacific freight train as is sits derailed on a failing bridge over the Bow River in Calgary, Canada, Thursday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

  • Train photos of the train derailment in Calgary

  • Crews work at the scene of a rail bridge collapse and railcars derailment over the Bow River, southeast of downtown Calgary, Alberta on Thursday, June 27, 2013.

  • Crews work at the scene of a rail bridge collapse and railcars derailment over the Bow River, southeast of downtown Calgary, Alberta on Thursday, June 27, 2013.

  • Crews work at the scene of a rail bridge collapse and railcars derailment over the Bow River, southeast of downtown Calgary, Alberta on Thursday, June 27, 2013.

  • Crews work at the scene of a rail bridge collapse and railcars derailment (centre, bottom) over the Bow River, southeast of downtown Calgary, Alberta on Thursday, June 27, 2013.

  • A close-up photo of the derailment.

  • A inspector examines a Canadian Pacific freight train as it sits derailed on a failing bridge over the Bow River in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, June 27, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

  • A close-up screen grab of the derailment

  • A close-up screen grab of the derailment

  • A inspector examines a Canadian Pacific freight train as it sits derailed on a failing bridge over the Bow River in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, June 27, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

  • A inspector examines a Canadian Pacific freight train as it sits derailed on a failing bridge over the Bow River in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, June 27, 2013.

  • MORE FLOOD PHOTOS FROM AROUND SOUTHERN ALBERTA

  • RCMP at the road block on the highway outside of Canmore, Alta.

  • Streets remain submerged in High River, Alta.

  • High levels of water continue to make conditions dangerous in High River.

  • Dark and murky water hides many hazards on the streets of High River, Alta.

  • Pet alley at Blackie for residents to sleep with pets.

  • Canmore, Alberta on Saturday June 22.

  • RCMP and numerous truckers rescued by helicopter as flood waters washed out the Hwy 1 near Canmore, Alberta.

  • Hugs for displaced people at the Blackie Evacuation Centre.

  • Flooded streets in southern Alberta community.

  • Emergency workers in High River, Alberta.

  • Road Block in High River, Alberta

  • Houses in some areas of High River, Alta. are still severely flooded.

  • Roadways unsafe as flood waters scatter debris and damage streets in High River, Alberta.

  • RCMP Helicopter at High River, Alberta.

  • Advising drivers in High River, Alberta

  • Flooded streets in High River, Alberta

  • Damaged roads in High River, Alberta

  • RCMP in High River, Alberta

  • More photos of the Alberta flood

  • Monica West carries damaged goods out of a souvenir shop as clean-up crews work at the Calgary Zoo in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuations across Southern Alberta. Calgary Zoo staff risked their lives over the weekend to stop a hippo from escaping into the swollen Bow River. Director of animal care, conservation and research, Jake Veasey, says flood waters in the hippos' enclosure rose high enough during the floods for the dangerous herbivores to swim out. One hippo named Lobi was feeling particularly adventurous and was moving freely around the African Savannah building. Veasey had to break a window to get into the building and he swam in the muddy flood waters to find the animal. Zoo staff used cinder blocks and construction equipment to block Lobi inside the building. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

  • A muddied research book dries as clean-up crews work at the Calgary Zoo in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuations across Southern Alberta. Calgary Zoo staff risked their lives over the weekend to stop a hippo from escaping into the swollen Bow River. Director of animal care, conservation and research, Jake Veasey, says flood waters in the hippos' enclosure rose high enough during the floods for the dangerous herbivores to swim out. One hippo named Lobi was feeling particularly adventurous and was moving freely around the African Savannah building. Veasey had to break a window to get into the building and he swam in the muddy flood waters to find the animal. Zoo staff used cinder blocks and construction equipment to block Lobi inside the building. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

  • A soldier walks by a pile of speedboats in High River, Alberta on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. High River was hit by a devastating flood on June 20 which caused a mass evacuation of the entire town although some residents chose to defy the order. Alberta's premier pledged $1 billion on Monday to help people recover from the floods. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

  • Clean-up crews work at the Calgary Zoo in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuations across Southern Alberta. Calgary Zoo staff risked their lives over the weekend to stop a hippo from escaping into the swollen Bow River. Director of animal care, conservation and research, Jake Veasey, says flood waters in the hippos' enclosure rose high enough during the floods for the dangerous herbivores to swim out. One hippo named Lobi was feeling particularly adventurous and was moving freely around the African Savannah building. Veasey had to break a window to get into the building and he swam in the muddy flood waters to find the animal. Zoo staff used cinder blocks and construction equipment to block Lobi inside the building. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

  • Wreckage lies along Center Street in High River, Alberta on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. High River was hit by a devastating flood on June 20 which caused a mass evacuation of the entire town although some residents chose to defy the order. Alberta's premier pledged $1 billion on Monday to help people recover from the floods. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jordan Verlage)

  • A road crew foreman surveys the washed-out lanes of northbound MacLeod Trail in Calgary, Alta., Monday, June 24, 2013. Heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuations across Southern Alberta. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

  • Thaya Gallant

    Thaya Gallant helps with the flood clean-up at a law office in Calgary, Alta., Monday, June 24, 2013. Heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuations across Southern Alberta. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

  • Calgary firefighters check on home as residents and volunteers are in clean up mode in the community of Bowness as most of the homes have been pumped out with still some remaining submerged in water in Calgary, Alberta on Monday, June 24, 2013. Alberta's premier pledged $1 billion on Monday to help people recover from floods that devastated parts of the western Canadian province. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • People watch as the river peaks, causing flooding in Medicine hat, Alta., on Monday, June 24, 2013. Officials in Medicine Hat said Monday they believe water levels on the South Saskatchewan River have peaked and that flooding won't be as severe as initially feared. Roughly 10,000 people were evacuated as the city of 60,000 prepared for the surge of water that swamped Calgary and surrounding areas last week. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Residents and volunteers are in clean up mode in the community of Bowness as most of the homes have been pumped out with still some remaining submerged in water in Calgary, Alberta on Monday, June 24, 2013. Alberta's premier pledged $1 billion on Monday to help people recover from floods that devastated parts of the western Canadian province. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Lisa Nguyen

    Resident Lisa Nguyen, right, cleans of the mud from photographs and negatives as volunteer Jacinta Babbitt, left, shows a clean picture of Nguyen when she was younger during flood clean up in the community of Bowness in Calgary, Alberta on Monday, June 24, 2013. Alberta's premier pledged $1 billion on Monday to help people recover from floods that devastated parts of the western Canadian province. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Residents and volunteers are in flood clean up mode in the community of Bowness in Calgary, Alberta on Monday, June 24, 2013. Alberta's premier pledged $1 billion on Monday to help people recover from floods that devastated parts of the western Canadian province. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

  • Daniel Boddy, nine, helps with the clean-up work as hose lines from pumps drain water from flooded basement in the Bridgeland neighborhood in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, June 23, 2013. Heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation across Southern Alberta.

  • Daniel Boddy, nine, helps with the clean-up work as hose lines from pumps drain water from flooded basement in the Bridgeland neighborhood in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, June 23, 2013. Heavy rains caused flooding, closed roads, and forced evacuation across Southern Alberta.