USDOT

USDOT Proposes Rule for Safe LNG Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), announced that it is publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The proposed rule will seek comment on changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to authorize the transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail in the DOT-113 specification tank cars.

GDOT initiates crossing signage improvement program

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has partnered with five railroads with operations in the state—Norfolk Southern, Georgia Northeastern Railroad, Georgia Southern Railway, Ogeechee Railroad Co. and St. Mary’s Railway West—to add “Stop” or “Yield” signs at nearly 600 crossings that do not have automatic warning devices.

Tempest in a tank car

Industry watchers greeted the news of the recent BNSF derailment in Doon, Iowa, as typical ho-hum news. 32 tank railcars hauling crude derailed on a stretch of track that had been compromised by floodwaters. Several of the cars were ruptured and there was a crude spill. Emergency services (BNSF and others) were able to contain the size of the spill, and residents of the area were evacuated as a precaution. Luckily for all parties involved, there was no conflagration whatsoever as a result of the derailment.

USDOT repeals ECP brake rule

The U.S. Department of Transportation on Dec. 4 repealed a 2015 Federal Railroad Administration rulemaking requiring freight railroads to employ electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes on certain trains hauling hazardous flammable commodities such as ethanol and crude oil in DOT-117 tank cars.