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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

RAC supports Canada's tighter tank-car standards

The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) has endorsed the Canadian government's call for an accelerated phaseout of older, less crash-resistant models of rail tank cars used to transport crude oil and other hazardous materials.

Yesterday, Canada's transportation department said it would speed up the deadlines for phasing out the tank cars. Transport Minister Marc Garneau issued Protective Direction 39, which calls for phasing out non-jacketed CPC-1232 tank cars for crude oil service on Nov. 1, which is 17 months ahead of the initial schedule.

In addition, non-jacketed CPC-1232 and DOT-111 tank cars will be prohibited from transporting condensates on Jan. 1, 2019, more than six years ahead of schedule, RAC officials said in a press release.

"Phasing out these tank cars ahead of schedule will enhance rail safety in Canada," said RAC President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Brazeau. "Dangerous goods are part of our way of life and the railway industry continues to work with the government to further improve the transportation of these essential commodities across the country."

RAC has long called for more robust tank-car standards, including thicker steel and full-height head shields to protect the car from puncturing. Such requirements were reflected in Transport Canada's TC-117 tank-car standard, which was introduced in May 2015.

"Rail customers and leasing companies own the vast majority of tank cars in service in North America, and are responsible for updating and retrofitting their tank car fleets," RAC officials said. "Railways have a common carrier obligation to reasonably accommodate all customers who wish to move their products, including dangerous goods, to market on Canada's rail network."

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