The recent expansion in the production of shale petroleum crude oil, combined with the lack of new pipeline construction, has placed the railroads at the center stage for safe and efficient transport of very large volumes of this commodity. Petroleum crude oil poses fire risk in the event of train accidents. The consequence modeling based on the US DOT Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) or ALOHA (Areal Locations of Hazardous Atmospheres), a popular atmospheric dispersion model used for evaluating releases of hazardous chemical vapors, may be overly simplistic and limited to estimate the risk of flammable liquid releases. This paper aims to address this gap and develop a simple model to estimate flammable liquid release consequences, focusing on petroleum crude oil. A flow model using the spatial geographic information system (GIS) and the digital elevation model (DEM) is developed. The methodology was illustrated with a case study comparing the results from the model to the area affected from the Lac-Mégantic accident. Although the model does not consider advanced flow types or fire propagation, the results accurately describe the consequences of the accident, demonstrating the potential capability of this methodology to estimate the consequences of a crude oil release.

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