85% of existing railroad tank cars unsafe in an accident

Tens of thousands of railroad tank cars that carry flammable liquids should be phased out or retrofitted, a major rail industry group has recommended.

The Association of American Railroads also pressed for higher federal safety standards for new tank cars…

The group asked for the changes in comments to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The upgrades “will substantially decrease” the possibility of a spill if the car is involved in an accident…

AAR estimated that of the approximately 92,000 tank cars in use, some 78,000 required phase out or retrofitting. Under their proposal, the organization said another 14,000 newer tank cars that meet current safety standards also would need retrofitting.

The AAR proposes new tank cars be built with a steel jacket surrounding the car, thermal protection, shields at the front and back and pressure relief vales with high-flow capacity.

Any cars not retrofitted should be “aggressively” phased out, AAR said…

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration had asked for comments on improving the safety of tank cars after an unattended train with 72 tank cars rolled down a hill and exploded in the Canadian town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July, killing at least 42 people…


I wonder if they’ll ask taxpayers to subsidize the upgrade to safer tank cars. That way their profit structure will be less affected. Congress wouldn’t have a problem with that, eh?

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