[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 78 (Thursday, April 23, 2015)]
[Pages 22778-22779]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-09437]



Federal Railroad Administration

[FRA Safety Advisory 2015-02]

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

[Docket No. PHMSA-2015-0118, Notice No. 15-11]

Hazardous Materials: Information Requirements Related to the 
Transportation of Trains Carrying Specified Volumes of Flammable 

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Pipeline and 
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of safety advisory.


SUMMARY: FRA and PHMSA are issuing this notice to remind railroads 
operating a ``high hazard flammable train'' (HHFT)--defined as a train 
comprised of 20 or more loaded tank cars of a Class 3 flammable liquid 
in a continuous block, or a train with 35 or more loaded tank cars of a 
Class 3 flammable liquid across the entire train--as well as the 
offerors of Class 3 flammable liquids transported on such trains, that 
certain information may be required by PHMSA and/or FRA personnel 
during the course of an investigation immediately following an 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Alexy, Staff Director, Hazardous 
Materials Division, Office of Technical Oversight, FRA, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; (202) 493-6245, or via email: 
[email protected]; and Richard Raksnis, Director Field Services, 
Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials 
Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New 
Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone (202) 366-4455 or, 
via-email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Due to recent derailments involving HHFTs, 
FRA and PHMSA have conducted several post-accident investigations and 
wish to ensure that stakeholders are fully aware of each agency's 
investigative authority and cooperate with agency personnel conducting 
such investigations, where time is of the essence in gathering 
evidence. Therefore, PHMSA and FRA are issuing this Safety Advisory 
notice to remind railroads operating HHFTs, and offerors of Class 3 
flammable liquids being transported aboard those trains, of their 
obligation to provide PHMSA and FRA, as expeditiously as possible, with 
information agency personnel need to conduct investigations immediately 
following an accident or incident.
    Federal law authorizes the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) 
to investigate rail accidents. Among other things, related to railroad 
safety generally, the Department can subpoena witness testimony, 
inspect track, cars, and other equipment, and require (including by 
subpoena) the production of records and other evidence. 49 U.S.C. 
20107, 20902 \1\ FRA's regulations set forth its general accident 
investigation procedures at 49 CFR 225.31.

    \1\ The FRA Administrator may exercise this investigative 
authority pursuant to a delegation from the Secretary. 49 CFR 
1.88(c), 1.89(a).

    Federal law also authorizes the Secretary to investigate accidents 
involving hazardous materials, 49 U.S.C. 5121, and in so doing require 
(including by subpoena) the production of records, inspect packages, 
and gather other evidence. Where Federal law requires the maintenance 
of records related to hazardous materials transportation, Section 5121 
obligates those responsible for maintaining such records to provide 
them to DOT personnel during the course of such investigations. PHMSA 
has promulgated rules at 49 CFR part 109 establishing investigative 
procedures for that agency under this authority.\2\ The Secretary has 
also delegated FRA the authority to investigate rail accidents and 
incidents involving the transportation of hazardous material for 
compliance with the Federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 
U.S.C. 5101 et seq.) and its implementing regulations. See 49 CFR 
1.89(j). Stakeholder cooperation with a PHMSA or FRA investigation 
following an accident is critically important to transportation safety. 
Thus, PHMSA and FRA issue this joint Safety Advisory to remind 
stakeholders of their obligations to maintain and make available 
records concerning hazardous materials transportation in accordance 
with law and DOT regulations, and to explain that the following 
information is likely to prove important to PHMSA and FRA personnel 
during the course of an investigation--and thus should be

[[Page 22779]]

provided as expeditiously as possible, upon request:

    \2\ The PHMSA Administrator may exercise this investigative 
authority pursuant to a delegation of the Secretary. 49 CFR 1.96 and 

     Information on the train consist, including the train 
number, locomotive(s), locomotives as distributed power, end-of-train 
device information, number and position of tank cars in the train, tank 
car reporting marks, and the tank car specifications and relevant 
attributes \3\ of the tank cars in the train.

    \3\ Relevant attributes include information related to thermal 
protection, shell and head thickness, steel specification and grade, 
head shield, and pressure relief valve setting.

     Waybill (origin and destination) information.
     The Safety Data Sheet(s) (SDS), or any other document used 
to provide comprehensive emergency response and incident mitigation 
     Results of any product testing undertaken prior to 
transportation that was used to properly characterize the Class 3 
flammable liquids for transportation (initial testing).
     Results from any analysis of product samples (taken prior 
to being offered into transportation) from tank car(s) involved in the 
     Date of acceptance as required to be noted on shipping 
papers under 49 CFR 174.24.
     If a flammable liquid is involved, the type of liquid and 
the name and location of the company extracting the material.\4\

    \4\ For a manufactured flammable liquid, the manufacturer will 
be identified on the SDS.

     The identification of the company having initial testing 
performed (sampling and analysis of material) and information on the 
lab (if external) conducting the analysis.
     Name and location of the company transporting the material 
from well head to loading facility or terminal.
     Name and location of the company that owns and that 
operates the terminal or loading facility that loaded the product for 
rail transportation.
     Name of the Railroad(s) handling the tank car(s) at any 
time from point of origin to destination and a timeline of handling 
changes between railroads.
    FRA and PHMSA encourage railroad industry members to take actions 
that are consistent with the preceding discussion and to take other 
complementary actions to help ensure the safety of the Nation's 
railroads. FRA and PHMSA may modify this Safety Advisory, issue 
additional safety advisories, or take other appropriate actions 
necessary to ensure the highest level of safety on the Nation's 
railroads, including pursuing other corrective measures under their 
safety authority.

    Issued in Washington, DC on April 17, 2015.
Timothy P. Butters,
Acting Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety 
Sarah E. Feinberg,
Acting Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration.
[FR Doc. 2015-09437 Filed 4-22-15; 8:45 am]