Dow Chemical, Union Pacific and Union Tank Car Collaborate with Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration on Safe and Secure Transportation of Chemicals
01/16/2007 in Industry News
Washington, D.C. - January 16, 2007
Leaders from The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Union Pacific Corporation and Union Tank Car Company (UTLX) today joined officials from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to announce a new public-private alliance between the FRA and the three companies focused on the safe and secure transportation of highly hazardous chemicals.
Issuing a Memorandum of Cooperation on behalf of the FRA, Administrator Joseph H. Boardman commended the collaborative efforts of Dow, Union Pacific and UTLX to create the Next-Generation Rail Tank Car Project, an innovative joint initiative of the three companies focused on the design and implementation of a next-generation rail tank car with enhanced ability to safely transport hazardous chemicals.
"We and our partners are looking to apply the latest research and advanced technology to provide increased safety for rail shipments posing the greatest safety risk," said FRA Administrator Joseph H. Boardman.
The Dow, Union Pacific and UTLX project team began collaborating in early 2006 to drive forward a process for the development of a next-generation rail tank car with step-change improvements in safety and security performance ñ an effort that builds upon each company’s long-standing commitment to safety through the Responsible CareÒ program. Responsible Care is the global chemical industry’s environmental, health and safety (EH&S) initiative to drive continuous improvement in performance. It achieves this objective by meeting and going beyond legislative and regulatory compliance, and by adopting cooperative and voluntary initiatives with government and other stakeholders.
The project team also established a Project Advisory Panel that includes leaders from public and private organizations that share a responsibility for rail and hazardous material safety, including leaders in the academic, engineering and response management fields.
The Next-Generation Rail Tank Car Project Team applauds the Federal Railroad Administration for its leadership on this issue and its willingness to join forces on this important effort,” said David Kepler, senior vice president, Shared Services, Environment Health and Safety, and chief information officer, The Dow Chemical Company. “This alliance demonstrates our mutual recognition that the safe and secure transportation of chemicals and hazardous materials is a shared responsibility between shippers, railroads and governments.”
"Rail transportation is the safest way to deliver the chemicals that are critical to our nation. As an industry, we have made remarkable progress to the point where 99.997 percent of hazmat arrives safely by rail, nearly 6-Sigma world-class quality performance,” said Jim Young, Union Pacific’s, president and chief executive officer. “This memorandum of cooperation between the Next-Generation Rail Tank Car Project Team and the FRA advances a mutual commitment to achieve an even greater level of safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials by all of the players in the logistics chain."
The Next-Generation Rail Tank Car Project is a logical progression in rail transportation safety for hazardous materials. While current rail tank cars have a strong record of performance in accident situations, in the spirit of continuous improvement, the project team is committed to the next level of safety and security performance. Dow, UP, and UTLX will implement the new rail tank car design in the shortest timeline possible with an initial tank car prototype projected for 2008.
“Product safety has been a driving force in the evolution of the railroad tank car,” said Frank Lester, UTLX vice president. “Some historical advances were subtle, but in several instances improvements have been profound, yielding radical changes. Our team is charged with rethinking the current state-of-the-art tank car. We are confident that we will discover even better ways to keep important chemicals secure during transportation.”
About The Dow Chemical Company
Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of science and technology to improve living daily. The Company offers a broad range of innovative products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $46 billion and employs 42,000 people worldwide. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.
About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America’s leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.
About Union Tank Car Company
Union Tank Car Company, a member of The Marmon Group of companies, is the leading designer, builder, and full service lessor of specialized railcars. Including the cars of its Canadian affiliate, Procor Limited, UTLX owns a fleet of approximately 85,000 railcars. In addition to manufacturing facilities in East Chicago Indiana, Alexandria Louisiana, and Sheldon Texas, the Chicago-based company operates a North American network of repair shops, lining shops and On-Site® repair locations. UTLX is an active partner in the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care Program.