April 30, 2014: Lynchburg, Va., train derails, sending up fireball as cars topple

There has been a derailment of a crude oil train in Lynchburg, VA. A total of 12-14 cars derailed according to early reports. There are currently three cars burning and many in the water. As of now there are no injuries or deaths being reported. The cause of the derailment is speculated as track failure due to the ground being washed out under the track from heavy rain. At this time the speculation is based on very early reports since this incident occurred only a few hours ago. As details continue to emerge the cause of the derailment may change.
Please click the following links for additional information:
LA Times
Daily News

April 23, 2014: (NPRM) Addressing the Safety of DOT-111 Tank Cars Carrying Dangerous Goods

On January 11, 2014 Transport Canada proposed a new standard for the DOT-111 tank car, which is used for the transportation of liquid dangerous goods. The proposed changes include mandating thicker steel, additional top fitting and head shield protection. All DOT-111 tank cars that have been built before the proposed standard changes are to be either phased out or refitted within three years. Transport Canada is currently working with U.S. officials to determine if any additional requirements are needed for the North American fleet of tank cars.
Furthermore, Transport Canada is also issuing a Protective Direction that would require immediate phase out of the least crash resistant tank cars. The tank cars that are to be removed from service would include those that are not equipped with continuous bottom reinforcement since they pose a higher risk of failure in a derailment. This change would cause approximately 5,000 tank cars in North America to be immediately removed from dangerous goods service. They can, however, be repurposed to transport non-dangerous goods in Canada.
Transport Canada Article

April 23, 2014: (FR) TC – Protective Direction #34 re: Tank Car Design and Construction

Canada Issues Protective Direction 34 regarding Tank Car design and construction; it is expected that this order will immediately affect approximately 5,000 railroad tank cars.

  1. Every tank car owner, as defined in CGSB 43.147-2005 (as amended July 2008), must immediately identify each of its tank cars that meet the following criteria:
     

    1. The tank car is of stub sill design and of a CTC 111, DOT 111 or AAR 211 specification;
    2. The tank car shell is made of non-normalized ASTM A515 Grade 70 steel plates;
    3. The bottom shell of the tank car does not have exterior heater coils; and
    4. The bottom shell of the tank car is not continuously reinforced between the end of one of the stub sill’s reinforcing plate (stub sill cradle pad) to the end of the other stub sill’s reinforcing plate by reinforcing steel bars, steel plate or other structural shapes or by other structural elements such as a bottom discontinuity protection device.
       
  2. A tank car owner must ensure that every tank car it identifies in 1) is marked with the words “Do not load with dangerous goods in Canada/Ne pas charger de marchandises dangereuses au Canada” or similar words to that effect.
     
  3. No person shall offer for transport, transport, handle or import dangerous goods in a rail tank car that meets the description in 1) or has been marked in accordance with 2).
     
  4. Despite 3), any dangerous goods in a tank car identified in 1) in transport on the day before this Protective Direction takes effect must arrive at their final destination within 30 days of the day this Protective Direction takes effect, where they must immediately be unloaded and the tank car must be marked in accordance with 2).
     
  5. A tank car owner must provide the reporting mark of each car marked in 2) within 30 days of the day this Protective Direction takes effect, to:

    Clive M. Law
    Director of Compliance and Response
    Transport Dangerous Goods
    Transport Canada
    Place de Ville, Tower C
    330 Sparks Street,
    Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N5

    clive.law@tc.gc.ca

SIGNED AT OTTAWA, ONTARIO, this 23rd day of April 2014.

This Protective Direction takes effect immediately upon signing. It remains in effect until the earlier of:

the day it is cancelled in writing by the Director General of the Transport Dangerous Goods Directorate, Transport Canada, or the day on which a regulation respecting the above subject matter is made under section 27 of the Act

Official Transport Canada Web Post

April 23, 2014: (FR) TC – Protective Direction #33 re: ERAP

Transport Canada Issues Protective Direction 33 re: ERAP for Crude Oil and Petroleum Products

  1. No person shall offer for transport or import dangerous goods listed in 2) by rail, in a tank car, if one or more of the rail tank cars in a train are each filled to 10 per cent or more of its capacity, unless the person has an Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) approved in accordance with section 7 of the Act;

  2. The dangerous goods to which this Protective Direction applies are: UN1170 ETHANOL, UN1202 DIESEL FUEL, UN1203 GASOLINE, UN1267 PETROLEUM CRUDE OIL, UN1268 PETROLEUM DISTILLATES, N.O.S., UN1863 FUEL, AVIATION, TURBINE ENGINE, UN1993 FLAMMABLE LIQUID, N.O.S., UN3295 HYDROCARBONS, LIQUID, N.O.S., or UN3475 ETHANOL AND GASOLINE MIXTURE;

This Protective Direction No. 33 takes effect 150 days from the date of signing. It remains in effect until the earlier of:

  • the day it is cancelled in writing by the Director General of the Transport Dangerous Goods Directorate, Transport Canada, or
  • the day on which a regulation respecting the above subject matter is made under section 27 of the Act.

SIGNED AT OTTAWA, ONTARIO, this 23rd day of April 2014.

Official Transport Canada Web Post