| TORONTO/OTTAWA July 23
TORONTO/OTTAWA July 23 Canada quietly issued new
details on rail safety regulation last week that included
specifications for the next generation of tank cars that are
tougher than some of the options proposed by the U.S. Department
of Transportation on Wednesday.
The safety proposals by Transport Canada for hauling
dangerous goods, released online on Friday, builds on measures
first announced in April that will require older DOT-111 rail
cars used for carrying crude oil be phased out by May 2017.
The measures are a response to a massive surge in
crude-by-rail shipments in recent years and a string of
high-profile disasters involving older tank cars prone to
punctures, including one that killed 47 people in Quebec,
The additional information from Canadian regulators said new
tank car standards, which they named TC-140, should have 9/16
inch (14.3 mm) steel thickness and mandatory electronically
controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes.
The next generation tank car would also require full head
shields, as well as mandatory top fitting protection, bottom
outlet valves, thermal protection and head and shell puncture
resistance that must all exceed the current standards
voluntarily adopted by the industry in 2011.
These measures were based on proposals by the industry and
the Association of American Railroads (AAR), as well as through
discussions with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety
Administration (PHMSA), Transport Canada said.
They appear mostly in-line with only the most stringent of
three proposals announced by U.S. regulators on Wednesday, and
were tougher than the U.S. options that did not require ECP
brakes or rollover protection.
"We're aware of the U.S. initiatives today. Their proposed
action are in line with recent Transport Canada initiatives to
strengthen the transportation of dangerous goods by rail," said
Transport Canada spokeswoman, Maryse Durette, adding that it had
shared its proposal with U.S. regulators.
"We'll continue to work closely with our U.S. counterparts
to harmonize regulations as appropriate."
The Canadian proposal also specified that after the 2017
deadline, crude and ethanol in categories known as packing group
I, II and III can only be transported in tank car models that
conform or exceed the 2011 standards, such as the regular
The most flammable liquids that fall in the packing group 1
would need to be shipped in tougher tank cars such as the
retrofitted CPC-1232 by May 1, 2020.
In contrast, the U.S. proposal pushes for a DOT-111
phase-out within two years for flammable liquids in packing
group 1, while less volatiles crudes that fall into packing
groups II and III could still be shipped in the older cars for
three and five years, respectively.
The draft U.S. rules include speed restrictions on all
areas, high-threat urban areas or areas of large population, for
tank cars that do not meet the proposed enhanced standards.
In April, Canada issued similar restrictions on older tanks
cars traveling through all areas only.
(Editing by Bernard Orr)