Friday, June 07, 2013

UP, Dow Chemical release joint safety update

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The Dow Chemical Company and Union Pacific said Friday, June 7 they have published a new report on the progress of a cooperative agreement that began in 2007 to improve rail safety and security.

The Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) outlines goals in eight critical areas of the chemical supply chain, with key innovations for event prevention and response planning, railcar designs and tracking. The report provides a detailed update on the progress for each of the eight goals, including an extensive description of the successful Next Generation Rail Tank Car Project.

The project is a public-private partnership involving Dow, Union Pacific, Union Tank Car Co., the Federal Railroad Administration, Transport Canada, and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. It began with three years of interdisciplinary research among more than 60 experts in design, engineering, corporate R&D, university research, logistics, rail operations and maintenance, and emergency response.

Once the research and engineering phase was completed in 2009, Dow commissioned Union Tank Car Co. to build the first next generation chlorine tank cars. In 2012, 11 next-generation chlorine tank cars were completed and approved for service. Overall, these tank cars offer up to three times better safety and security performance than existing rail cars, UP and Dow said.

"The Next Generation Rail Tank Car Project is a great example of a successful public-private partnership focused on a common vision," said David Kepler, Dow's chief Sustainability officer. "Through this collaborative effort, a breakthrough approach to rail car design was created that increases safety and security in moving vital chemicals to facilities that produce pharmaceuticals, clean water and many other products that improve every aspect of our lives."

Highlights from the other seven goals in the Dow-UP MOC Progress Update can be accessed at either Dow Chemical's site or through Union Pacific.