US railroads support federal government's push to improve safety of transport of energy products by rail, will work with administration, customers, other stakeholders to identify additional safety steps, says AAR

WASHINGTON , January 17, 2014 (press release) – Top leadership from the nation’s major freight railroads today attended a meeting with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, as well as leaders from the energy production sector to discuss ways that railroads and their customers can augment the safe transport of energy products by rail.

Association of American Railroads (AAR) CEO Edward R. Hamberger said, “The nation’s railroads share the Administration’s sense of urgency, and will collectively work to identify additional ways to make an already safe system even safer. We are also pleased that our energy customers are a part of this effort, as railroads and shippers must work together with DOT to ensure safe operations.”

As recently as November, railroads urged the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to increase the federal tank car safety standards for cars used to move flammable liquids such as crude oil and ethanol. AAR on behalf of the industry urged PHMSA to not only raise the federal standards for new tank cars, but also to require existing cars to either be retrofitted or phased out of service. In addition, railroads since August of 2013 have instituted self-imposed operating practices to help enhance the safe movement of energy products, including special speed limits and other operating requirements.

Railroads will work with the Administration, their energy sector customers and other stakeholders as necessary to identify additional safety enhancing steps that will help make the North American rail network even safer.

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