The company's new "Tank car of the future" design will meet anticipated changes to government standards for tank wagons that transport certain hazardous materials. The proposed retrofits could also extend the service life of 170,000 of 272,100 DOT-111 tank wagons in service and deemed suitable to carry hazardous materials in November 2013.
Concern has been raised over the safety of transporting hazardous materials by rail in North America following a spate of recent accidents, including most notably at Lac-Megantic last July where 47 people were killed following a derailment which resulted in a fire and explosion in the centre of the Quebec town.
Greenbrier says the retrofit options for DOT-111 tank wagons will include fitting high-flow pressure relief valves, head shields, top fittings protection and thermal protection. Research has shown that bottom and top appurtenances on legacy DOT-111 tank wagons are impacted during derailments with the proposed retrofit designed to improve these features. The company is also developing solutions for CPC-1232 wagons, which again involves installing high-pressure relief valves along with bottom outlet valve handles for any wagons already in service which are not equipped with these features.
"When combined these retrofits can meaningfully improve the safety performance of both wagon types in continued service," says Greenbrier chairman and CEO Mr William Furman. "Greenbrier expects its Tank car of the future and retrofit offerings to comply with anticipated Class 1 rail carrier requirements as well as pending regulatory actions by the United States and Canadian governments."