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GE Sells Tank Cars & Repair Shops to Marmon, Remaining GE Railcar Services to Wells Fargo

October 2nd, 2015

Marmon Holdings, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, has acquired substantially all of GE Railcar Services fleet of railroad tank cars and, in a separate agreement that will be completed by the end of 2015, has also agreed to acquire certain GE Railcar Repair Services repair and maintenance facilities.

The railcar assets will become part of the portfolio of rail equipment managed by Marmon’s Union Tank Car Company (UTLX) and Procor Limited, while the acquired repair facilities will expand the existing network of locations operated by UTLX Repair Services and Procor Repair Services.

Frank Ptak, chairman and CEO of Marmon Holdings, said, “Union Tank Car and Procor have a long history of providing high quality equipment and comprehensive tank car services to their customers throughout North America. This acquisition reflects our continuing commitment to invest in and grow these business units and generate enhanced value for their customers.”

“The addition of the GE Railcar Repair Services sites also will further enhance the full-service capabilities of Marmon’s already extensive repair, maintenance, and inspection network,” added Ptak.

UTLX builds, leases and ships railroad tank cars while Procor provides leasing and repair services throughout Canada.

Additionally, Wells Fargo & Company has announced that First Union Rail, its railcar finance, leasing and fleet management business, has agreed to purchase GE Railcar Services from GE Capital. The transaction will add more than 77,000 railcars and just over 1,000 locomotives to First Union’s existing fleet as well as associated operating and long-term leases. The transaction is expected to close by end of the first quarter of 2016, and terms are not being disclosed.

“GE Railcar Services, with its high quality asset base, has a long history of strength and stability that will add significantly to the quality and diversification of our existing fleet,” said First Union Rail President Barbara Wilson. “We greatly value our client relationships and look forward to meeting the industry’s growing demand for rail cars.”

Ed Blakey, head of Wells Fargo Specialized Lending & Investment, said, “First Union Rail integrates well with the many solutions Wells Fargo offers its corporate and commercial customers to help them succeed financially. We look forward to introducing GE Railcar Services’ customers to Wells Fargo’s broad suite of financial solutions.”

First Union Rail’s acquisition of GE’s railcar and locomotive fleet will make the business the second largest railcar and locomotive leasing company in North America.

Terms of the transactions are not being disclosed.

Progress Rail to Acquire Rail Product Solutions

September 30th, 2015

Progress Rail Services Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement with Amsted Rail Company, Inc. to purchase Rail Product Solutions, Inc. (RPS), a provider of track fastening products and integrated fastening systems. The acquisition is anticipated to close once regulatory approvals are received.

“This acquisition shows our continuing commitment to grow our business and expand our product and service offerings for our customers,” said Progress Rail President and CEO Billy Ainsworth. “RPS is a leader in track fastening systems, and I am proud to have them join the Progress Rail and Caterpillar team.”

“Our focus on high quality products and dependable service has enabled Progress Rail to be a preferred supplier in the rail industry,” said Dave Roeder, senior vice president of Progress Rail’s Engineering and Track Services. “The RPS acquisition expands our portfolio of track related products and allows us to provide more comprehensive solutions to our customers.”

“RPS is a good strategic fit, and a good cultural fit, as their team shares the same passion for customer service and satisfaction as Progress Rail,” added Roeder.

Progress Rail, a member of the Caterpillar Company, is a supplier of railroad products and services.

CSX Announces Executive Changes

September 10th, 2015

CSX Chairman and CEO Michael J. Ward has announced changes to several senior management positions, including the resignation of President Oscar Munoz who has joined United Continental Holdings, Inc. as president and chief executive. Clarence W. Gooden, who most recently served as executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer, has been named president of CSX. All changes to management positions are effective immediately.

“We sincerely congratulate Oscar on his appointment to United and the opportunity to lead another outstanding transportation company,” said Ward. “We all thank him for 12 years of dedicated and successful service to CSX.”

Gooden will oversee both operations and sales and marketing. He has served as executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer since 2004, helping lead CSX’s growth and value pricing efforts. He has more than 40 years of experience in operations and sales and marketing.

Fredrik J. Eliasson has been named executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer. In his previous position as executive vice president and CFO, he helped develop and lead strategic initiatives, particularly in efficiency and capital allocation. Prior to his appointment as executive vice president and CFO in 2012, Eliasson served in key sales and marketing and finance leadership roles, including vice president of the chemicals and fertilizer business, vice president of emerging markets, vice president of commercial finance, and vice president of financial planning and analysis. He joined the company in 1995.

Cindy M. Sanborn is the new executive vice president and chief operating officer of CSX Transportation, Inc. She has been serving as executive vice president operations since earlier this year and has helped lead the company’s operating performance and Service Excellence initiatives. Sanborn has served in leadership positions of increasing responsibility in operations, including vice president and chief transportation officer and vice president northern region. She joined CSX in 1987.

Frank A. Lonegro is promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer. He helped shape and lead efficiency and capital strategies in positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as vice president service design and, before that, president of CSX Technology, vice president mechanical, vice president internal audit and associate general counsel. He joined the company in 1999.

“I look forward to leading this dynamic team, and have every confidence in our ability to deliver a compelling future for CSX,” stated Ward. “I plan to leverage this team’s leadership and tremendous skills in safety, customer service and efficiency as CSX executes its strategies to achieve ever-better levels of financial performance.”

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FRA Announces Grants to Improve Track, Highway-Rail Crossings on Energy Routes

September 2nd, 2015

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is soliciting applications from states for $10 million in competitive grants to improve track and highway-rail grade crossings along routes that transport energy products like crude oil and ethanol.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation has made increasing safety at highway-rail grade crossings, especially along routes transporting energy products, one of its top priorities,” stated U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This money allows the Department to support innovative ideas and solutions developed at the local level, and I encourage states to apply for this funding.”

Last year there were 269 deaths due to highway-rail grade crossing collisions, the first increase in fatalities in a decade. Collisions at highway-rail grade crossings are the second-leading cause of all railroad-related fatalities. FRA ramped up its campaign earlier this year to prevent these collisions through greater education, stronger enforcement and smarter engineering.

“Most of these deaths are completely preventable, and that is why the Federal Railroad Administration has redoubled its efforts to reverse last year’s upward trend,” said FRA Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg. “These funds will allow states to take innovative ideas and make them a reality to increase safety and decrease fatalities.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has taken more than 24 actions in the last two years to increase the safety of transporting hazardous materials by rail. The funding for track improvements on energy routes will increase safety on these rail lines.

The FRA guidelines for the grant applications encourage states to include innovative solutions to improve safety, especially at highway-rail grade crossings. The funding is part of the Railroad Safety grants for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products (STEP) by Rail Program.

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FTA Proposes Rule to Establish Transit Safety Program

August 18th, 2015

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced a proposed rule that would establish a framework for a Public Transportation Safety Program under FTA’s authority, allowing the agency to monitor, oversee and enforce safety in the public transit industry.

“With transit ridership at its highest levels in generations, and our nation’s transit agencies facing increased pressure to meet the demand for service, we must continue to ensure that safety remains the top priority,” said FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. “This rulemaking is a major step forward in establishing FTA’s safety regulatory framework, as all future safety-related rules, regulations and guidance will be informed by the Public Transportation Safety Program.”

The proposed rule would implement FTA’s authority, which was established by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), to conduct inspections, audits, and examinations, and to test equipment, facilities, rolling stock, and the operations of public transit systems. It will also allow the FTA to take appropriate enforcement actions, including directing the use of, or withholding, Federal funds and issuing directives and advisories to the transit agencies.

The proposed rule is based on the principles and practices of Safety Management Systems (SMS), which focuses on organization-wide safety policy and accountability, proactive hazard identification, and risk-based decision-making.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated, “Every day, millions of Americans take public transportation to get to work, school, medical appointments, and other important destinations. This new program will help us ensure that transit continues to be a safe way to get around, and a safe place to work.”

Also in the proposed rule, The FTA has defined a National Public Transportation Safety Plan, which the FTA expects to publish in the Federal Register for public comment in the next several months. The plan will include safety performance for all public transportation, minimum safety performance standards for revenue transit vehicles, a Safety Certification Training Program, and other content determined by FTA.

Public comments on the proposed rule must be received by October 13, 2015.

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FRA Reports Most Railroads Will Miss PTC Deadline

August 10th, 2015

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has delivered its “Status of Positive Train Control Implementation” report to Congress, showing most railroads will miss the December 31, 2015, positive train control (PTC) implementation deadline.

PTC prevents train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits and a train going to the wrong track because a switch was left in the wrong position.

“Positive Train Control is the most significant advancement in rail safety technology in more than a century,” stated U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Simply put: it prevents accidents and saves lives, which is exactly what we seek to do at the Department of Transportation every single day. We will continue to do everything in our power to help railroads install this technology.”

The FRA noted that it has provided significant assistance to railroads to help them become PTC compliant, including funding of more than $650 million to passenger railroads, $400 million in Recovery Act funding, and an issuance of nearly $1 billion loan to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for PTC on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.

The FRA has also built a PTC testbed in Pueblo, Colo., established a PTC task force, and has worked directly with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to resolve issues related to spectrum use and to improve the approval process for PTC communication towers.

FRA Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg stated, “The Federal Railroad Administration will continue to use its resources and expertise to help railroads achieve the critical goal to have Positive Train Control implemented.”

The “Status of Positive Train Control Implementation” report was mandated by the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. The December 31, 2015, PTC implementation deadline was established by Congress in 2008.

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Wabtec Plans to Acquire Faiveley Transport

July 28th, 2015

Wabtec Corporation plans to acquire, for approximately $1.8 billion including assumed debt, Faiveley Transport S.A., a provider of integrated systems and services for the railway industry. The sale is subject to various conditions, including labor group consultations and other regulatory requirements.

Faiveley Transport is headquartered in Gennevilliers, France, has more than 5,700 employees in 24 countries and generated record sales of approximately $1.2 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

Wabtec’s Executive Chairman Albert J. Neupaver stated, “Faiveley Transport is an excellent strategic fit, expanding our geographic presence considerably, broadening our product and service capabilities, and enhancing our technology and innovation initiatives, all of which will make us a more efficient global competitor.”

“We are excited by the compelling opportunities and synergies created from the combination of two rail industry leaders with historic ties, a commitment to growth and efficiency, and a focus on technology, quality and customer service,” continued Neupaver. “We would be pleased to welcome the Faiveley family as a long-term Wabtec shareholder with representation on our Board of Directors.”

Combining Wabtec and Faiveley Transport will create one of the largest public rail equipment companies, with approximate revenues of $4.5 billion. Wabtec expects to realize at least €40 million in annual pre-tax synergies from the transaction. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Wabtec’s earnings per diluted share in 2016.

The transaction will be completed in the following steps:

  • Wabtec has made an irrevocable offer to the owners of approximately 51 percent of Faiveley Transport’s shares for a purchase price of €100 per share, payable 25 percent in cash and 75 percent in Wabtec preferred stock. Shareholders owning 51 percent of Faiveley Transport have entered into exclusive discussions with Wabtec;
  • Wabtec expects that the 51 percent shareholders will enter into a definitive share purchase agreement and Faiveley Transport will enter into a transaction agreement with Wabtec once required labor group consultations are completed; and
  • Wabtec will commence a tender offer for the remaining publicly traded Faiveley Transport shares upon completing the share purchase. The public shareholders will have the option to elect to receive €100 per share or Wabtec preferred stock. Wabtec intends to delist Faiveley Transport from Euronext after the tender offer if minority interests represent less than 5 percent.

Wabtec plans to fund the cash portion of the transaction with cash on hand, existing credit facilities and potentially other debt financing.

Raymond T. Betler, Wabtec’s president and CEO, said, “Faiveley Transport brings to Wabtec many complementary products, a strong presence in the European and Asian transit industries, and solid relationships with blue-chip, global customers. Together, we expect to strengthen our ability to help our customers improve their safety, productivity and efficiency. We look forward to working with the Faiveley Transport team to ensure a successful combination for all stakeholders.”

When the transaction is completed, Stéphane Rambaud-Measson, current chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Faiveley Transport, will join Wabtec as president and CEO of Wabtec’s Faiveley Transport group and as Wabtec corporate executive vice president, reporting to Betler.

“The combination of our operations with Wabtec would be an excellent strategic move for Faiveley Transport,” said Rambaud-Measson. “Our complementarity is remarkable, both in terms of product portfolios and geographies. This transaction would enable us to pursue our ambition to become a global leader in railway equipment and services for the passenger transit market.”

“Faiveley Transport would double in size with the contribution of Wabtec’s transit division thus enlarging the French industrial footprint of the group. The strong commitment of the Faiveley family as long-term shareholders is a testimony of the powerful industrial rationale of the proposed combination,” added Rambaud-Measson.

UBS Investment Bank and DC Advisory are serving as financial advisors to Wabtec for the transaction, and Jones Day is acting as legal advisor.

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FRA’s Feinberg Speaks on PTC Implementation Before House Committee

June 29th, 2015

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg recently spoke before a House Committee about the state of positive train control (PTC) implementation in the United States, saying that despite FRA’s financial support, technical assistance and repeated warnings to Congress, many railroads have stated publicly they will not meet the December 31, 2015, deadline for PTC implementation.

Feinberg pointed out to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials that the initial analysis of recent information from 32 of the 38 railroads the FRA is currently tracking for enforcement purposes has found that Class I railroads have:

  • Completed or partially completed installations of approximately 50 percent of the locomotives that require PTC equipment;
  • Deployed approximately 50 percent of wayside units;
  • Replaced approximately 50 percent of signals that need replacement; and
  • Completed most of the required mapping for PTC tracks.

“As I have stated to this committee before: safety is the Federal Railroad Administration’s top priority,” said Feinberg. “The rail system is not as safe as it could be without the full implementation of PTC. A safe rail system requires the full implementation of Positive Train Control. And that’s why FRA will enforce the Dec. 31, 2015 deadline for implementation, just as Congress mandated.”

Feinberg noted that, following passage of the PTC mandate in 2008, railroads submitted their PTC Implementation Plans in 2010 that laid out a path that would allow each railroad to meet the deadline.

“For several years, FRA has been sounding the alarm that most railroads have not made sufficient progress in implementing PTC. In the 7 years since passage of the PTC mandate, FRA has dedicated significant resources and worked closely with the railroad industry in order to assist and guide implementation,” she said.

Feinberg noted that the FRA has hired extra staff to assist with the issue, worked with the Federal Communications Commission to resolve spectrum issues and improve the approval process related to PTC communication towers, built a PTC system test bed at its Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colo., and provided funding of approximately $650 million in grants funds to support PTC.

“I have also established a new PTC Task Force Team within FRA – that team is aggressively managing and monitoring each individual railroads’ progress, tracking data, ensuring we have the most accurate and up-to-date information, and reporting in to me multiple times per week,” said Feinberg. “This team is working in close collaboration with the many individuals at FRA, based here in Washington and in offices around the country, already working on this challenge.”

Feinberg informed the committee that, according to the American Public Transportation Association, (APTA), 29 percent of commuter railroads are planning to complete installation of PTC equipment by the end of 2015, with full implementation of PTC for all commuter lines expected by 2020. She also said that the Association of American Railroads (AAR) projects that the following will completed by the end of 2015:

  • 39 percent of locomotives will be fully equipped;
  • 76 percent of wayside interface units will be installed;
  • 67 percent of base station radios will be installed; and
  • 34 percent of required employees will be trained.

Starting on January 1, 2016, FRA will impose penalties on railroads that have not fully implemented PTC.

“Fines will be based on FRA’s PTC penalty guidelines, which establish different penalties depending on the violation,” she explained. “The penalties may be assessed per violation, per day and may be raised or lowered depending on mitigating or aggravating factors. The total amount of penalty each railroad faces will depend upon the amount of implementation progress the railroad has made.”

“FRA will also use additional, appropriate enforcement tools to ensure railroads implement PTC on the fastest schedule possible – be it emergency orders, compliance orders, compliance agreements, additional civil penalties, or any other tools at our disposal,” Feinberg said.

She said that the FRA asked Congress to provide them with additional authorities in order to review, approve, and require interim safety measures for individual railroads between January 1, 2016 and each railroad’s full PTC implementation.

“These interim safety requirements would be to ensure railroads are forced to raise the bar on safety if they miss the PTC deadline – but will not and cannot be used to replace or extend the deadline,” said Feinberg.

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires that, by December 31, 2015, PTC be fully implemented on Class I railroad main lines where any toxic hazardous materials are transported and on main lines where regularly scheduled intercity or commuter rail passenger service is conducted.

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Freight Railroads Committed to PTC Implementation

June 15th, 2015

Association of American Railroads (AAR) President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger has stated that America’s freight rail industry is committed to ensuring that positive train control (PTC) is interoperable on the entire nationwide network.

“Freight railroads have been moving forward with PTC for years and remain 100 percent committed to ensuring this complex ‘system of systems’ gets safely installed and thoroughly vetted and tested,” said Hamberger. “Our railroads have 62,000 miles to equip with PTC and getting that safely completed is a top priority.”

Hamberger noted that, given the size and scope of deploying PTC on the entire rail network, it’s absolutely impossible to meet the 2015 deadline mandated by Congress for a fully functioning PTC system. He pointed out that freight railroads currently have a team of 10,000 employees, manufacturers, software designers and safety experts devoted full time to developing, installing and testing the safe creation of PTC.

In the AAR’s most recent PTC progress report to the Federal Railroad Administration FRA, Hamberger stated that by the end of 2015 more than 11,000 railroad route miles will be equipped with PTC and approximately 9,000 locomotives will be PTC ready. In addition, 76 percent of the 34,000 required wayside units will be installed, 67 percent of base station radios will be in place, and 32,446 of 95,971 railroad employees will be PTC trained.

“Reaching deadlines is important, but even more important is that when PTC is turned on it is fully operational and enhancing safety,” said Hamberger, noting that, to date, freight railroads have invested approximately $5.7 billion in private capital into PTC and expect to spend billions more before the system is fully implemented.

He also stated that the freight rail industry was transparent early on, clearly warning policy makers the 2015 deadline was unachievable, which has been echoed by former and current FRA officials, as well as others on Capitol Hill.

“Freight railroads have indicated for some time they require until 2018 to deploy all the necessary equipment and outfit the locomotive fleet, followed by up to two years of testing and validation that the nationwide system is properly working in all regions,” said Hamberger.

In its press release, the AAR noted that safety of freight rail operations is the industry’s top priority, and the statistics underscore the point: 2014 was the safest year on record for freight rail. It also pointed out that given enough time to ensure the complicated safety network is working effectively, PTC will make a safe method of transportation even safer.

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Industry Slams Brakes Mandate in New Tank Car Rules

May 5th, 2015

Rail industry groups warn that new brake system and other requirements contained in last week’s crude-by-rail regulations could have a chilling impact on rail operations. On May 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a final rule for transporting flammable liquids by rail and aligned the rule with Canada’s new tank car standards.

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) welcomed the new design standards for tank cars but questioned the rulings on both the ECP brake requirement and the 30 mph speed limit.

“First and foremost, the DOT has no substantial evidence to support a safety justification for mandating ECP brakes, which will not prevent accidents,” said Edward R. Hamberger, AAR president and CEO. He pointed out that the government’s ECP simulation analysis concluded with the cautionary note, “Given that this is based on a limited simulation set, the results could be a bit optimistic and should be taken with a grain of salt.”

Hamberger stated that the speed restrictions DOT handed down are dependent on the actions of rail customers or tank cars owners. “This decision not only threatens the operational management of the U.S. rail system, but trains moving 30 mph will compromise network capacity by at least 30 percent. The far-reaching effects of this decision will be felt by freight and passenger customers alike. Slow-moving trains will back up the entire rail system,” said Hamberger.

“Attention and resources should be allocated to addressing the underlying causes of rail accidents and brakes simply aren’t on that list,” continued Hamberger. “Unjustified regulations such as this trigger a reallocation of investments that will not generate the kind of safety benefits the industry and the public expects. The regulation does not take into account the disruption the ECP mandate will wreak on railroad – both freight and passenger – operations.”

The American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard pointed out that the ECP brake regulation does not take into account the limited shop capacity that is available for retrofitting the existing tank car fleet with the new timeline.

“The safety impact of ECP brakes is marginal at best,” said Gerard. “It is concerning that regulators did not select one of several alternative braking technologies that have much clearer benefits for safety.”

“We support upgrades to the tank car fleet and want them completed as quickly as realistically possible,” stated Gerard. “The railcar manufacturing industry’s own calculations show it does not have the shop capacity to meet the retrofit timeline announced today, which will lead to shortages that impact consumers and the broader economy.”

The Greenbrier Companies, Inc., manufacturers of the “Tank Car of the Future”, which meets the new DOT-117/TC-117 tank car standards, was pleased with the rule for updating the standards and stated the timelines are achievable.

The company believes the tank car design improvements produce tangible and immediate safety benefits that far exceed any marginal benefit from U.S. DOT-mandated ECP brakes, which Greenbrier has consistently questioned.

Greenbrier said that a rapid replacement and retrofit phase-out timeline is completely feasible. A report prepared for the company by Cambridge Systematics indicates that the unjacketed DOT-111s and unjacketed CPC-1232s in crude oil service could be retrofitted in 3.7 years, while similar cars in ethanol service could be retrofitted in an additional 2.3 years.

The report also noted that, with 2015 manufacturing capacity for new tank cars at over 40,000 units, the entire tank car fleet that is currently operating without advanced safety features could be replaced in less than five years.

Upon announcing the new rule, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “Safety has been our top priority at every step in the process for finalizing this rule, which is a significant improvement over the current regulations and requirements and will make transporting flammable liquids safer.”

“Our close collaboration with Canada on new tank car standards is recognition that the trains moving unprecedented amounts of crude by rail are not U.S. or Canadian tank cars – they are part of a North American fleet and a shared safety challenge,” added Foxx.

DOT 117 Specification rail Car. Diagram: courtesy of DOT.

DOT 117 Specification rail Car. Diagram: courtesy of DOT.

The final rule for a high-hazard flammable train (HHFT), which constitutes a continuous block of 20 or more tank cars loaded with a flammable liquid or 35 or more tank cars loaded with a flammable liquid dispersed through a train, includes:

  • Upgrades to tank car standards – new tank cars constructed after October 1, 2015, are required to meet the new DOT Specification 117 design or performance criteria;
  • New risk-based retrofitting schedule –  The rule requires replacing the entire fleet of DOT-111 tank cars for Packing Group I within 3 years and all non-jacketed CPC-1232s, in the same service, within approximately 5 years;
  • New braking standard – HHFTs require a functioning two-way end-of-train device or a distributed power braking system. Each high-hazard flammable unit train (HHFUT), which is a single train with 70 or more tank cars loaded with Class 3 flammable liquids, that has at least one tank car with Packing Group I materials, must be operated with an electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) braking system by January 1, 2021. All other HHFUTs must have ECP braking systems installed after 2023.
  • Reduced operating speeds – restricts all HHFTs to 50 mph in all areas and HHFTs containing any tank cars not meeting the enhanced tank car standards required by this rule are restricted to operating at a 40 mph speed restriction in high-threat urban areas;
  • Routing analysis – all HHFT trains must have a routing analysis that considers, at a minimum, 27 safety and security factors. A route must be selected based on its findings. Planning requirements are prescribed in 49 CFR §172.820.
  • Railroad point of contact for information – information related to the routing of hazardous materials must be provided to the state and/or regional fusion centers, and state, local and tribal officials when the train is traveling through their jurisdictions;
  • Offerors of unrefined petroleum-based products – offerrors must develop and carry out sampling and testing programs to address the criteria and frequency of sampling. They must also certify that hazardous materials subject to the program are packaged in accordance with the test results, document the testing and sampling program outcomes, and make that information available to DOT personnel upon request.

Canada’s Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt said, “This stronger, safer, more robust tank car will protect communities on both sides of our shared border. Through strong collaboration we have developed a harmonized solution for North America’s tank car fleet. I am hopeful that this kind of cooperation will be a model for future Canada-U.S. partnership on transportation issues.”

FRA Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg stated, “This new rule governing the movements of crude and ethanol trains will enable us to focus more precisely on oil train accident prevention, and mitigation. This rule will save lives and homes, and protect communities. As I have said before, there is no silver bullet that will solve this challenge. Improving safety requires constant re-examination of every procedure and protocol to make sure sufficient safeguards and redundancies are in place to protect the American public. We will continue to focus on this challenge, not just today, but in the future.”

The rule was developed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in coordination with Canada. A summary of the final rule is available on the DOT website.

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