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Tank Car 101

EXPLORE THE WORLD OF TANK CARS

Tank cars have helped deliver valuable commodities throughout North America since the 1860s. Primitive tank cars built during the advent of railroads were made of wood and carried a variety of liquid products, including crude oil. Today, tank cars are made of hardened steel and include a variety of other technical and safety features. They continue to serve as a vital link to global markets for an array of commodities ranging from corn syrup to corn-based ethanol. Tank cars are among the safest and most efficient ways to move materials from their production source to the consumer. As such, tank cars are a key part of the transportation supply chain and are vital to the world economy.

Design Standards

RSI-CTC RESEARCHES, DEVELOPS AND RECOMMENDS TANK CAR STANDARDS

The RSI-CTC has been a longtime, active member of the Association of American Railroads Tank Car Committee, working closely with other key stakeholders involved in rail transportation. The AAR/RSI “Tank Car Safety Project” is a vital component of the AAR Tank Car Committee. The work of this partnership has led to nearly all major tank car standards recommendations in the last several decades. While there are many types of tank cars, below are some key features of a typical tank car that operates in flammable liquid service.

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Tank Car Safety Features

THE FOLLOWING VIDEOS DESCRIBE RECENT IMPROVEMENTS IN TANK CAR TECHNOLOGY

Progress

TANK CARS IN FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS SERVICE ARE TRACKING TO COMPLY WITH THE FAST ACT PHASE-OUT SCHEDULE

Congress set the following phase-out schedule to replace or retrofit tank cars transporting a flammable liquid to reduce the inherent risk of transporting such materials in commerce. For each respective hazardous material identified in the FAST Act, RSI-CTC and its members have met each Congressionally mandated phase-out date.

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RSI and AAR continue to provide statistics on the number of new tank car builds and tank car retrofits on an ongoing basis to monitor compliance with the FAST Act.

Who We Are

WE ARE MANUFACTURERS, OWNERS AND LESSORS OF RAIL TANK CARS

The Railway Supply Institute Committee on Tank Cars (RSI-CTC) comprises representatives from major manufacturers and owner-lessors of rail tank cars. Together, the member companies build more than 95 percent and own or lease more than 70 percent of the tank cars operating in North America.

What We Do

WE DEVELOP RECOMMENDED STANDARDS, ADVOCATE AND TRACK PROGRESS

The RSI-CTC meets regularly to addresses issues of importance to tank car builders and owner-lessors in North America, with a primary focus on Tank Car Safety. The RSI-CTC reviews tank car standards through its membership in the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Tank Car Committee (TCC), which focuses on the design, performance and operation of tank cars. Together, we recommend and advocate for science-based standards and track progress toward our common goals.

WE RESEARCH AND DEVELOP RECOMMENDED TANK CAR STANDARDS

Our member companies are constantly striving to innovate and advance tank car technology. We work collaboratively on issues of standards and safety to share non-competitive information that will advance the delivery of materials by rail.

WE ADVOCATE FOR SENSIBLE TANK CAR REGULATIONS

The Committee has been a leader and a strong voice for sensible regulations that govern tank car design standards.

WE IMPLEMENT AND TRACK PROGRESS OF THE TANK CAR FLEET

Because we represent a large majority of manufacturers and owner-lessors of tank cars, our Committee is able to closely monitor the implementation of rules and regulations that affect the tank car fleet.