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

Energy

MODEC FPSO Achieves First off Brazil

MODEC, Inc. announced today that its FPSO Cidade de Itaguai MV26, operating in the Iracema Norte area of Lula field, in the Pre-Salt layer of Santos Basin offshore Brazil,

Fleet Growth Weighs on Product Tanker Earnings

Healthy returns enjoyed by the product tanker market in recent years are under threat as impending fleet growth is expected to reduce the sector’s earnings over the medium term,

Traders Scramble for Caribbean Crude Storage

Demand for crude storage in the Caribbean, one of the world's most important oil hubs, is rising as producers and traders try to ride out the worst price crash

News

MODEC FPSO Achieves First off Brazil

MODEC, Inc. announced today that its FPSO Cidade de Itaguai MV26, operating in the Iracema Norte area of Lula field, in the Pre-Salt layer of Santos Basin offshore Brazil,

Japanese Sub Pitch puts off Australian Firms

Japan had been seen as frontrunner for Australian submarine deal, but Australian defence firms unhappy after talks with Japan. A Japanese consortium eyeing a A$50 billion ($35.

Obama Pushes for U.S. Icebreakers

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will propose a faster timetable for buying a new heavy icebreaker for the U.S. Arctic, where quickly melting sea ice has spurred more maritime traffic,

Government Update

Japanese Sub Pitch puts off Australian Firms

Japan had been seen as frontrunner for Australian submarine deal, but Australian defence firms unhappy after talks with Japan. A Japanese consortium eyeing a A$50 billion ($35.

Obama Pushes for U.S. Icebreakers

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will propose a faster timetable for buying a new heavy icebreaker for the U.S. Arctic, where quickly melting sea ice has spurred more maritime traffic,

Seychelles to Join India-led Maritime Security Alliance

Seychelles  said that Indian ocean region "belongs" to countries sharing maritime boundaries and said it was "actively" considering participating in a security

Intermodal

Asia-N.Europe Box Rates Jump 26 pct

Shipping freight rates for transporting containers from ports in Asia to Northern Europe jumped by 26 percent to $591 per 20-foot container (TEU) in the week ended on Friday,

CMA CGM-led Consortium Win Box Terminal Bid

The consortium formed by CMA CGM, Bolloré and CHEC won the bid process initiated by the Cameroonian government Following the bidding procedure initiated by the Cameroonian government,

DP World H1 Earnings Jump, Mulls Iran launch

DP World may launch operations in Iran, the company's chairman said on Thursday, as the global ports operator reported a jump in half-year earnings after buying assets from its parent company.

Logistics

Fleet Growth Weighs on Product Tanker Earnings

Healthy returns enjoyed by the product tanker market in recent years are under threat as impending fleet growth is expected to reduce the sector’s earnings over the medium term,

Japanese Sub Pitch puts off Australian Firms

Japan had been seen as frontrunner for Australian submarine deal, but Australian defence firms unhappy after talks with Japan. A Japanese consortium eyeing a A$50 billion ($35.

Obama Pushes for U.S. Icebreakers

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will propose a faster timetable for buying a new heavy icebreaker for the U.S. Arctic, where quickly melting sea ice has spurred more maritime traffic,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
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: 0.2058 sec (5 req/sec)