Canadian Manufacturing

U.S. oil-by-rail industry prepares for new regulations

Sector looks to address questions surrounding new rail rules



HOUSTON—With 6 derailments of crude carrying trains this year the industry has been hit by regulators with increased safety demands to prevent and reduce impacts of future incidents.

An estimated 150,000 rail cars are being phased out to be replaced by the preferred Department of Transportation-117 designs. Retrofitting these cars to the new specifications is no easy feat, however. Shop capacity and timelines are making the task difficult.

Train speed limits, tank car availability and capacity as well as liability and insurance will have a monumental impact on shipment timings and pricing, according to American Business Conferences. The organization says it is vital that these costs and future changes are accurately calculated to analyze the future viability of rail as a method of product takeaway.

With the Oct. 1 deadline for enhanced standards for new and existing rail cars looming, stakeholders in the entire supply chain are looking to iron out their questions and concerns about the new guidelines.

The Annual Crude & Hazardous Liquids By Rail Safety Congress will take place later this summer and discuss these key areas:

  • Rail car design specifications & impacts: Detailing the proven advantages found with the new rail car assessing the extent of the impact on shipments and costs
  • Transloading safety and technology: Examining the best practices for transloading unit trains and determining the importance of new technologies in safety
  • Risk assessments: Investigating the major risks posed by rail transportation and identifying the key risk management techniques
  • Railroad steps: Evaluating the steps taken by railroads to prevent derailments such as adopting positive train control (PTC)
  • Emergency response steps: Detailing the best response plans for varying scenarios to ensure quick and efficient clean ups

Key speakers include The National Transportation Safety Board, Sunoco Logistics, National Steel Car, National Resource Council Canada, AFPM, Railway Suppliers Institute, Southwest Association of Rail Shippers & many more

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