There is a great deal of confusion about the technical choices facing shippers as to what to do with their tank car fleet.
The basic choices are to 1) buy all new tank cars at prices probably north of $130,000 each? Which means writing off maybe as much as $90,000 in the value of each existing tank car?
Or 2), modify with safety appliances the existing tank cars with perhaps 30 years economic life left on them at a cost upwards of $40,000 each?
The regulators like the FRA and the NTSB or the STB can not help you. They draft and issue safety rules. They give you no economic or technical help in making the choice of “how to execute”.
There is, however, a specialized independant company composed of experienced former railway tank car professionals and FRA inspectors that you can turn to for help.
This Maryland based consultancy called STARS can give you the technical help that regulators can’t.
The company’s formal name is “Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services”. The President,Wendy Buckley, and her skilled staff has already found ways to help both crude oil and chemical hazmat shippers execute safety improvements in ways that represent a significant return on investment for their fees.
I have interacted directly with STARS and found their client business cases to be exceptional examples of “value delivered.”
Contact me if you need a specific reference.
Or contact STARS directly at their web site www.STARSConsulting.org.