Hazmat Transport: The Next Generation

Team of chemical industry and government members plan for prototype of safer railcar in 2008.

Dow Chemical, Union Pacific and Union Tank Car (UTLX), as well as officials from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced Tuesday a public-private alliance focused on safe and secure transportation of hazardous chemicals.

The Next-Generation Rail Tank Car Project will focus on the design of next-generation rail-tank cars with the improved ability for safe transport of hazardous chemicals.

“We and our partners are looking to apply the latest research and advanced technology to provide increased safety for rail shipments posing the greatest safety risk,” said FRA Administrator Joseph H. Boardman.

“Our team is charged with rethinking the current state-of-the-art tank car. We are confident that we will discover even better ways to keep important chemicals secure during transportation,” adds Frank Lester, UTLX vice president.

Dow, Union Pacific and UTLX began collaborating in early 2006 as part of the Responsible Care Program, the chemical industry’s environmental, health and safety initiative.

“This alliance demonstrates our mutual recognition that the safe and secure transportation of chemicals and hazardous materials is a shared responsibility between shippers, railroads and governments,” commented David Kepler, senior vice president, Shared Services, Environment Health and Safety, and CIO of Dow Chemical.

“This memorandum of cooperation between the Next-Generation Rail Tank Car Project Team and the FRA advances a mutual commitment to achieve an even greater level of safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials by all of the players in the logistics chain,” added Union Pacific’s president and CEO Jim Young.

The team plans to have a tank car prototype ready in 2008.

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