NTSB's Tank Car Agenda Eyes 'Aggressive Retrofit'

The agenda says the second discussion topic on July 13 is tank car retrofit logistics and capacity and "what is the industry's current capability to pursue an aggressive retrofit or replacement schedule given the implementation requirements of Section 7304 of the FAST Act."

The National Transportation Safety Board has released the final agenda for its July 13 roundtable discussion on the next steps in rail tank car safety, which is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. EDT in the agency's Board Room and Conference Center in Washington, D.C., with NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt moderating it.

The event is intended to evaluate the industry's pace of transition from DOT-117 railcars to DOT-117 cars. The agenda says the day's second discussion topic is tank car retrofit logistics and capacity and "what is the industry's current capability to pursue an aggressive retrofit or replacement schedule given the implementation requirements of Section 7304 of the FAST Act."

That section sets the dates by which railcars used to transport Class 3 hazardous liquids may no longer be used unless they meet the DOT-117, DOT-117P, or DOT-117R specifications. For transporting unrefined petroleum products in Class 3 flammable service, including crude oil, Jan. 1, 2018, is the end date for non-jacketed DOT-111 tank cars. It is March 1, 2018, for jacketed DOT-111 tank cars; April 1, 2020, for non-jacketed CPC-1232 tank cars; and May 1, 2025, for jacketed CPC-1232 tank cars. For transporting ethanol, the end date is May 1, 2023, for non-jacketed and jacketed DOT-111 tank cars; July 1, 2023, for non-jacketed CPC-1232 tank cars; and May 1, 2025, for jacketed CPC-1232 tank cars.

Roundtable participants will include representatives of many rail organizations, including the Association of American Railroads, GBW Railcar Services, American Railcar Leasing, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Wells Fargo Rail, and AllTranstek LLC. The Federal Railroad Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Railway Association of Canada, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada also will have representatives participating, according to the list of participants included in the agenda.

The roundtable is free and open to the public to observe and no registration is necessary; in addition, the event will be webcast live and an archive of the webcast will be available afterward at http://stream.capitolconnection.org/capcon/ntsb/ntsb.htm. The Twitter hashtag for the event is #NTSBMWL.

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