June 26 Norfolk Southern Corp said it
would require its customers to give the railroad company legal
protection against damages caused by explosions or leakage of
hazardous materials carried in older tank cars, The Wall Street
Journal reported on Thursday.
According to the report, the company has notified its
customers that the legal protection would cover losses, damages,
court costs, and costs of environmental cleanup and remediation,
emergency response and evacuations, judgments, fines and
Norfolk Southern said the legal protection, which applies to
older DOT-111 tank cars built before late 2011, would take
effect on July 15, the newspaper reported.
Norfolk Southern was unavailable for comment outside regular
U.S. business hours.
A series of accidents on rail tank cars carrying crude oil
has put the workhorses of the oil industry under scrutiny, and
U.S. and Canadian regulators are carving out new rules on how to
In April, Canadian authorities ordered the phase-out of
older rail cars, partly in response to the explosion and fire on
a train carrying Bakken crude that killed 47 people in
Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last July.
While the DOT-111 model has long been the workhorse for
oil-by-rail shipments in North America, most stakeholders agree
it is outdated. A tougher tank car design known as the CPC-1232
has been the industry standard since 2011.
(Reporting by Soham Chatterjee; Editing by Leslie Adler)