A very nice chart of the modifications needed to make tank cars more explosion proof. The picture is from the article below. There’s a new DOT-117 (TC-117 in Canada) design, and a long list of modifications that must be made to older cars. These can be expensive to upgrade and have a variety of expiration dates when they no longer can be used without retrofit. It’s a nightmare for the very active leasing business, and for companies who must sublease cars they control when they face a downturn of demand. The kind of complexity financial businesses such as leasing dote on.
Here’s what a DOT-117 rail car looks like, from the article:
This blog says that only 225 cars were upgraded the first year.
A year ago, when Federal regulators announced new rules for “high hazard” trains moving crude oil and ethanol, the oil industry protested that the rules were too strict.
Finally, we have this cheery note:
A stack of 24 tanker cars partially derailed on the Tacoma Tideflats about 9:15 a.m. on April 22. There were no injuries. The tankers were empty so no spill following the incident but the otherwise busy intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Taylor Way was closed for 12 hours to allow crews time to lift the tankers back onto their chassis and for investigators to gather information. The accident happened at a curve in the track and occurred when the weather was slightly rainy, although track conditions apparently didn’t play into the cause of the derailment. Damage estimates to the cars hover around the $250,000 mark.