Tank cars in recent U.S. oil train mishap were newer model-official

WASHINGTON Fri May 9, 2014 1:58pm EDT

WASHINGTON May 8 (Reuters) - Many of the tank cars involved in a fiery derailment of an oil train last week met safety standards that some in the industry consider a model for future containers, an official with the National Transportation Safety Board said on Friday.

Ten of the 13 tank cars that jumped the tracks near downtown Lynchburg, Virginia, were model CPC-1232, said Eric Weiss, a spokesman for the NTSB.

The CPC-1232 is considered an upgrade from the DOT-111 model that is the workhorse of the oil-by-rail sector. Earlier this week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that DOT-111s are not fit to carry crude oil and should be mothballed or toughened.

In the Virginia incident, the 105-car shipment of fuel from North Dakota's Bakken energy patch partially derailed and caught fire within a few hundred feet of a busy restaurant and children's' museum in downtown Lynchburg.

The Department of Transportation last week proposed a new design for future tank car production but the details are still being deliberated within the federal government in a process that will likely last many months.

The American Petroleum Institute, a leading voice for the oil industry, supports wider use of the CPC-1232 cars but other stakeholders in the oil train sector, like the railways themselves, think that model also needs to be improved upon. (Reporting by Patrick Rucker, editing by G Crosse)

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