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Tesoro to update tank cars to exceed new USDOT safety rule

Petroleum refiner and marketer Tesoro Corp. is updating its crude-oil rail fleet with 210 enhanced tank cars that exceed the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) new safety rule, the company announced.

Tesoro partnered with Union Tank Car Co. in February 2014 to develop the new rail car that would meet or exceed forthcoming regulations, Tesoro officials said in a press release.

The cars are expected to be in service this year when there are enough to form a full unit train.

"Connecting domestically produced crude oil with U.S. refining centers by rail supports American jobs and enhances our energy security, but these benefits are null if it can’t be done safely and efficiently," said Tesoro Executive Vice President of Operations Keith Casey.

Classified as DOT-120s, the rail cars have several of the same safety features as the new DOT-117 standard, including 9/16-inch shell thickness, thermal protection, full-height head shields, high-flow pressure-relief valves, protected top fittings and upgraded bottom outlet valves.

The new cars also include safety features such as a thicker tank head, protective housing for the manway and two times the rated tank test pressure, Tesoro officials said.

The USDOT released its final rule on tank car safety standards for crude and ethanol shipments earlier this month.

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More News from 5/19/2015