Railroads Seek Tank Car Safety Upgrades | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 91 Issue 47 | p. 22 | Concentrates
Issue Date: November 25, 2013

Railroads Seek Tank Car Safety Upgrades

Department: Government & Policy | Collection: Safety
Keywords: railroads, tank cars, flammable liquids, crude oil

The railroad industry is urging federal regulators to require that all of the roughly 92,000 tank cars currently used to transport crude oil, ethanol, and other flammable liquids be upgraded to better withstand accidents and avoid potentially catastrophic releases. The Association of American Railroads, which represents freight rail carriers, is asking the Department of Transportation to require an outer steel jacket around the tank car as well as thermal protection, shields at both ends, and pressure relief valves. It is also recommending that a subset of 78,000 older-model tankers be “aggressively” phased out unless they are retrofitted to meet the more stringent standards. The oil and chemical industries, which own large tank car fleets, oppose the plan and say freight rail companies should focus on accident prevention.

 
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