Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, was joined by U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, to unveil a new class of rail tank car for flammable liquids. This newer, stronger tank car will be used for the transportation of flammable liquids, such as crude oil and ethanol. The new standard is the result of collaboration on both sides of the border, with a joint goal of strengthening the safety of the two countries’ inter-connected rail networks.
The new TC-117 standard includes enhanced safety features that represent a considerable improvement over previous tank car standards. The new tank car regulations will be applied first to cars carrying crude oil by all railway companies in Canada and the United States. This will translate into better protection for communities in both countries. The new TC-117 tank car will be jacketed and constructed with thicker steel, thermal protection, a full head shield, top fitting protection and a new bottom outlet valve.
Transport Canada has taken an integrated approach to safeguarding the public during the transportation of dangerous goods by rail. This regulation builds on previous regulatory actions including enhancements to train operations, track inspections, train speeds, sharing of information with municipalities, emergency response assistance plans and classification. The tank car regulations formalize the commitment made by the Minister on April 23, 2014, to phase-out the DOT-111 tank cars. The regulations establish the prescriptive and performance requirements to retrofit a tank car, as well as the retrofit schedule for DOT-111 and CPC 1232 tank cars used to transport flammable liquids. This approach removes the least crash resistant tank cars from crude oil carriage first, focusing industry’s efforts on the highest risk areas.
The tank car regulations require any new tank car used for flammable liquid dangerous goods service manufactured on or after October 1, 2015, to be built to the TC-117 standard. In developing the tank car regulations, Transport Canada consulted its partners in the U.S. as well as members of the container manufacturing industry, tank car users and regulatory bodies. Through the Regulatory Cooperation Council, Transport Canada works closely with its U.S. counterparts to deepen regulatory cooperation in areas like this, to enhance economic competitiveness while maintaining standards on health, safety and the environment.