US Urges Rail Sector to Agree on Safer Tank Car

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday asked oil-by-rail leaders to create a tank car fit to carry the kinds of fuel involved in recent fiery derailments even as he dodged lawmaker questions about when such a plan would be ready.

Rail shipments of oil have been on the rise in regions that lack sufficient pipelines such as North Dakota's Bakken energy patch, where production is nearing 1 million barrels per day and roughly 72 percent of that fuel moves on the tracks.

But several accidents saw the rail cargoes explode with surprising force since summer, prompting demands for a tougher tank car to carry the fuel.

Foxx said his agency was working hard to come up with a new tank car design.

"My target date is as soon as possible," Foxx told a panel of the Senate Appropriations Committee when asked when the new standard would be ready.

The Department of Transportation is responsible for mandating a new tank car design, but officials are counting on input from industry.

The Association of American Railroads has gathered together oil producers, shippers, tank car manufacturers and others to try to design a tank car that will satisfy regulators.

But industry sources say compromise has been difficult among stakeholders with different concerns such as costs and whether an overly bulky model might limit cargoes.

Foxx wrote to association President Edward Hamberger on Wednesday, encouraging the industry to continue its work and update officials on progress soon.

Officials agree that the workhorse for oil-by-rail deliveries, the model DOT-111, is the wrong container for fuel shipments that are expected to climb in the years ahead.

Many shippers are phasing out DOT-111s in favor of a toughened model known as version 1232, but officials have said even that tank car needs design upgrades and a blessing from regulators.

"Even the railroad industry and the DOT have been talking about going beyond the 1232," National Transportation Safety Board chair Deborah Hersman told lawmakers. "We think that's wise given the risk here."

A design favored by the railroad association would require tank cars to be fitted with pressure relief valves, to sit within a steel jacket and have larger shields at either end to prevent puncture.

A further meeting of the tank car panel is scheduled for next week.

Also on Wednesday, the Federal Railroad Administration said that it intended to mandate a minimum of two-person crews on most trains. The practice of having more than one crew member is already an industry standard.

(By Patrick Rucker; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

News

Austal Delivers Sixth Cape Class Patrol Boat

Austal Limited announced it has delivered Cape Leveque, the sixth of eight Cape Class Patrol Boats being supplied to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service under a $330 million design,

Targa: Splitter, Terminal with Noble Still Under Consideration

Targa Resources Partners LP is working closely with Noble Group as Asia's biggest commodity trader evaluates whether to move forward a deal to support a Targa-built condensate splitter,

Tampnet, Marlink Partner for Offshore 4G Services

New low latency mobile communication services set to improve support of offshore vessel operations   Marlink and Tampnet have signed a partner agreement for the

Government Update

Forty Migrants Drowned in Med on Sunday

Around forty migrants died in the Mediterranean on Sunday, according to survivors of the journey who arrived on the southern Italian island of Sicily on Tuesday,

India to Sign Port Deal with Iran

India to build port in Iran to get more trade with CIS and Gulf India will push ahead this week with plans to build a port in southeast Iran, two sources said,

China: Philippines Violating South China Sea Code

China has accused the Philippines of violating a 13-year-old informal code of conduct in the South China Sea with its building work on disputed islets, firing back

Intermodal

Hamburg Süd Eyes Ocean Three Membership

UK- based shipping consultants Drewry said that it was only a matter of time before these carriers make the formal announcement that Hamburg Süd is to become a fully-fledged member of Ocean Three,

AAPA Supports 'Move America Act'

'Move America Act of 2015' would help fund landside improvements to U.S. ports -APPA   The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)—the unified and recognized

Gauthiers’ Announces Modex Merger

Gauthiers’ announced the acquisition of an equity share of Modex, an international manufacturer of DNV-certified offshore equipment. As part of the transaction,

Logistics

Turkish Coastguard Rescues 636 Migrants

Turkey's coastguard has rescued more than 600 people trying to cross the Aegean sea over the last five days, including women and children fleeing war-torn Syria in rubber boats,

India to Sign Port Deal with Iran

India to build port in Iran to get more trade with CIS and Gulf India will push ahead this week with plans to build a port in southeast Iran, two sources said,

Strengthening Danish-Brazilian Cooperation

Brazil continues to be an important area for Danish shipping interests and, with the signing of a new agreement on cooperation with the Brazilian authority ANTAQ

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3968 sec (3 req/sec)