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Safety

U.S. And Canada Toughen Rail Safety Standards

by Glenn Hess
May 11, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 19

Regulators in the U.S. and Canada have kicked off a coordinated effort to strengthen the safety of trains carrying crude oil, ethanol, and other flammable liquids. They recently finalized harmonized rules in response to a series of fiery derailments in recent years that accompanied a surge in crude-by-rail shipments. The changes include more stringent ­construction standards for new rail tank cars; the phaseout of the oldest, least safe cars in existing tanker fleets by 2018; use of advanced braking systems; and lower speed limits. “Safety has been our top priority at every step in the process for finalizing this rule, which is a significant improvement over the current regulations and requirements and will make transporting flammable liquids safer,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says.

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