Engineering Studies on Structural Integrity of Railroad Tank Cars Under Accident Loading Conditions

This report describes research conducted to support the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in addressing safety recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regarding a train derailment that occurred near Minot, North Dakota on January 18, 2002. Engineering studies entailing analysis and testing are described, which include (1) analysis of derailment dynamics based on lumped-parameter models, (2) analysis of the structural behavior of tank car components (such as the head and shell) based on finite element modeling, (3) tank car steels characterization based on laboratory testing of samples obtained from tank cars. Specific details of the research are described. Conclusions based on the research findings to date are outlined. The research began to provide FRA with technical support in responding to recommendations made by the NTSB following the Board’s investigation of the Minot accident. Research results are now being applied to support: (1) rulemaking proposed by FRA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to ensure the safe transport of hazardous materials by tank cars and (2) an industry research-and-development effort, called the Next Generation Rail Tank Car Project that was formed to develop and implement new improved designs for tank cars carrying hazardous materials.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Federal Railroad Administration

    Office of Research and Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Jeong, D Y
    • Tang, Y H
    • Yu, Hai
    • Lyons, M L
    • Gordon, J E
    • Orringer, O
    • Perlman, A B
  • Publication Date: 2009-10


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 103p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01155077
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FRA/ORD-09/18
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 7 2010 3:36PM