Issue Date: January 22, 2007
Government joins Dowin rail tank carproject
The Federal Railroad Administration has agreed to work with Dow Chemical and two railroad companies to develop new design standards for stronger and safer tank cars for hazardous materials. "Our goal is to jump beyond incremental design changes," says FRA Administrator Joseph H. Boardman. The agreement that FRA signed with Dow, Union Pacific Railroad, and Union Tank Car provides for extensive information sharing and cooperation between government and industry research programs to improve the safety of rail shipments of toxic inhalation hazards such as chlorine and anhydrous ammonia. In focusing on strengthening the structural integrity of the tank car, FRA is examining, among other things, the type of material and thickness of the outer shell and the type and design of the insulation material between the outer shell and the inner tank. FRA is also evaluating technology to prevent tank car derailments by keeping cars upright and on the tracks after an accident.
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