Dow, UP Release Updated Report on Next Generation Tank Car Project

One result is a number of new measures have been taken to reduce non-accident releases, with 99.98 percent of Dow's hazardous material shipments now reaching their destination without an NAR.

Dow Chemical Company and Union Pacific have published a report on the progress of a cooperative agreement that began in 2007 to improve rail safety and security. The report is an update on progress toward meeting goals in eight critical areas of the chemical supply chain, with key innovations for event prevention and response planning, railcar designs, and tracking, and it describes the successful Next Generation Rail Tank Car Project. This is a public-private partnership between Dow, Union Pacific, Union Tank Car, the Federal Railroad Administration, Transport Canada, and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

Following three years of research and engineering, Dow commissioned Union Tank Car Company to build the first next-generation chlorine tank cars. Eleven of them were approved for service in 2012; the companies say they offer up to three times better safety and security performance than existing railcars.

"The Next Generation Rail Tank Car Project is a great example of a successful public-private partnership focused on a common vision," said David Kepler, Dow's chief sustainability officer. "Through this collaborative effort, a breakthrough approach to rail car design was created that increases safety and security in moving vital chemicals to facilities that produce pharmaceuticals, clean water, and many other products that improve every aspect of our lives."

Highlights from the other seven goals include:

  • Expanding the TRANSCAER® Program has brought hazmat safety training to more than 5,500 first responders in 68 cities and created and delivered anhydrous ammonia safety programs to more than 800 audiences in 37 states.
  • Improving shipment visibility has led to installation of GPS transceivers and dome open sensors in all of Dow's tank cars that ship highly hazardous materials and the beginning of a fleet-wide installation of fourth-generation GPS units in all Dow tank cars that ship highly hazardous materials.
  • A number of new measures to reduce non-accident releases, with 99.98 percent of Dow's hazardous material shipments now reaching their destination without an NAR.
  • Improved tracking and handling practices have allowed Union Pacific to achieve a 98 percent reduction in dwell time of hazmat railcars in urban areas and also minimized the occurrence of unattended highly hazardous cars by identifying secure storage areas.
  • Multiple initiatives and measures have improved Union Pacific's overall safety performance by 43 percent since 2006.

To download the report, visit or

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