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Rail safety advocate calls DOT-111 the ‘Ford Pinto’ of rail cars

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August 28, 2013 | Bloomber News – Bangor Daily News | WASHINGTON — The head of a rail safety group Wednesday compared a widely used train tank car to the recalled Ford Pinto in urging U.S. regulators to require upgrades that would prevent accidents like a Quebec derailment that killed 47 people.

Karen Darch, co-chairman of a coalition of communities around Chicago formed in response to a merger of railroads, said regulators dragged their feet in mandating safety improvements to the car, known as the DOT-111, amid evidence showing the tankers are more prone to rupture in a derailment than other types.

“Unfortunately, your combined track record has been less than stellar when it comes to improving the crash-worthiness of the DOT-111 tank car — the primary car used in the transport of dangerous hazmat like crude and ethanol in this country and in Canada,” Darch, mayor of Barrington, Ill., told a panel of Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration officials.

[Read the entire article here.]

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