DOT looks to improve crude oil transportation

crude oil tanks railThe U.S. Department of Transportation would like to start phasing out old tank cars used transport crude oil by rail, among other measures to improve the safety of crude oil transportation by rail. The DOT proposed a two-year phase-out plan that would primarily focus on discontinuing older model DOT-111 tank cars, long known to be vulnerable to failure in derailments, from crude oil and ethanol service.

The DOT would also like to advance safety measures by upgrading tank cars with thicker steel shells, electronic braking and rollover protections.

As part of the proposal, the department would like the maximum speed allowed to be 40 mph in in all areas for trains operating older tank cars, and in areas with more than 100,000 residents. Tank cars meeting new safety requirements would be allowed to travel 50 mph in urban areas.

The public has 60 days to respond to the DOT’s proposed rules.