The rule changes were first introduced by DOT in May 2015. They include an enhanced tank car standard and an "aggressive, risk-based" retrofitting schedule for older tank cars carrying crude oil and ethanol, DOT said.
In addition, the rule requires trains transporting large volumes of flammable liquids to use a new braking standard; employ new operational protocols such as routing requirements and speed restrictions; share information with local government agencies; and provide new sampling and testing requirements that DOT said will “improve classification of energy products placed into transport.”
The rule also calls for all new tank cars to be equipped with a thermal protection blanket, and older tank cars retrofitted to the new design standard to be outfitted with top fittings protection and a thermal protection blanket.
Older tank cars will be placed on a faster schedule to be taken out of service, DOT said.
DOT said these rule changes are required by the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. More details about the final rules may be found on the PHMSA website.