Objective Evaluation of Risk Reduction from Tank Car Design and Operations Improvements – Extended Study

This report describes a novel and objective methodology for quantifying and characterizing how changes to tank car designs or the tank car operating environment lead to reductions in risk (or reductions in puncture probabilities). The methodology captures several parameters that are relevant to tank car performance under derailment conditions—including multiple derailment scenarios, derailment dynamics, impact load distributions, impactor sizes, operating conditions, tank car designs, etc.—and combines them into a consistent probabilistic framework that estimates the relative merit of proposed mitigation strategies. Comparison of the estimates from this methodology to actual derailment data suggests that the gross dynamics of a tank car train derailment and the resulting puncture performance of the tank cars are captured well by this methodology. The model’s estimates of the number of cars derailed and number of punctures, as a function of train speed, also compare favorably with actual derailment data. These validation efforts add further credibility to the efficacy of the methodology and the results derived from it.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Sharma and Associates, Incorporated

    5810 S Grant Street
    Hinsdale, IL  United States  60521

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Railroad Policy and Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Research, Development, and Technology
    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Prabhakaran, Anand
    • Booth, Gray
  • Publication Date: 2018-10


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report; Technical Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 36p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01684876
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FRA/ORD-18/36
  • Contract Numbers: DTFR53-15-P-00011
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 22 2018 11:42AM