SAFETY REPORT ON THE PROGRESS OF SAFETY MODIFICATION OF RAILROAD TANK CARS CARRYING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

As a direct result of Safety Board efforts, the Department of Transportation in 1978 adopted an accelerated schedule for retrofitting tank cars carrying hazardous materials with safety equipment to protect against tank-head puncture and thermal rupture in accidents. One of the Safety Board's safety objectives during FY 1979 was to monitor the retrofit program to see that the safety modifications are completed as soon as possible. Review and monitoring of the tank car safety retrofit program indicate that: (1) The shelf coupler retrofit for DOT 112/114 tank cars was virtually completed within 6 months of the announcement of the accelerated schedule; (2) Headshields are not being retrofitted as rapidly as possible; (3) As a result of retrofit problems and the structure of the regulations, headshield installations on more than 1,000 tank cars may be delayed up to 1 year; (4) Shelf couplers and/or headshields performed effectively in protecting against tank-head puncture in two derailments investigated by the Safety Board in FY 1979; (5) On one recommendation, the Department of Transportation has exceeded the statutory time limit on responding to Safety Board recommendations; and (6) The Federal Railroad Administration agrees that DOT 105 tank cars should also be equipped with shelf couplers, but is unnecessarily delaying rulemaking action.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Office of Evaluations and Safety Objectives
    Washington, DC  USA  20594
  • Publication Date: 1979-9-13

Media Info

  • Pagination: 24 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00312548
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB/SR-79/2
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 7 1980 12:00AM