U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 24, 2020

§ 179.10 - Tank mounting.

(a) The manner in which tanks are attached to the car structure shall be approved. The use of rivets to secure anchors to tanks prohibited.

(b) [Reserved]

§ 179.11 - Welding certification.

(a) Welding procedures, welders and fabricators shall be approved.

(b) [Reserved]

§ 179.12 - Interior heater systems.

(a) Interior heater systems shall be of approved design and materials. If a tank is divided into compartments, a separate system shall be provided for each compartment.

(b) Each interior heater system shall be hydrostatically tested at not less than 13.79 bar (200 psig) and shall hold the pressure for 10 minutes without leakage or evidence of distress.

[Amdt. 179-52, 61 FR 28678, June 5, 1996, as amended by 66 FR 45390, Aug. 28, 2001]

§ 179.13 - Tank car capacity and gross weight limitation.

Except as provided in this section, tank cars, built after November 30, 1970, or any existing tank cars that are converted, may not exceed 34,500 gallons (130,597 L) capacity or 263,000 pounds (119,295 kg) gross weight on rail.

(a) For other than tank cars containing poisonous-by-inhalation material, a tank car may be loaded to a gross weight on rail of up to 286,000 pounds (129,727 kg) upon approval by the Associate Administrator for Safety, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Tank cars must conform to the conditions of the approval and must be operated only under controlled interchange conditions agreed to by participating railroads.

(b) Tank cars containing poisonous-by-inhalation material meeting the applicable authorized tank car specifications listed in § 173.244(a)(2) or (3) or § 173.314(c) or (d) of this subchapter may have a gross weight on rail of up to 286,000 pounds (129,727 kg). Tank cars containing poisonous-by-inhalation material not meeting the specifications listed in § 173.244(a)(2) or (3) or § 173.314(c) or (d) may be loaded to a gross weight on rail of up to 286,000 pounds (129,727 kg) only upon approval of the Associate Administrator for Safety, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Any increase in weight above 263,000 pounds may not be used to increase the quantity of the contents of the tank car.

[74 FR 1802, Jan. 13, 2009, as amended at 75 FR 27216, May 14, 2010; 77 FR 37985, June 25, 2012; 81 FR 35545, June 2, 2016]

§ 179.14 - Coupler vertical restraint system.

(a) Performance standard. Each tank car shall be equipped with couplers capable of sustaining, without disengagement or material failure, vertical loads of at least 200,000 pounds (90,718.5 kg) applied in upward and downward directions in combination with buff loads of 2,000 pounds (907.2 kg), when coupled to cars which may or may not be equipped with couplers having this vertical restraint capability.

(b) Test verification. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section shall be achieved by verification testing of the coupler vertical restraint system in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Coupler vertical restraint tests. A coupler vertical restraint system shall be tested under the following conditions:

(1) The test coupler shall be tested with a mating coupler (or simulated coupler) having only frictional vertical force resistance at the mating interface; or a mating coupler (or simulated coupler) having the capabilities described in paragraph (a) of this section;

(2) The testing apparatus shall simulate the vertical coupler performance at the mating interface and may not interfere with coupler failure or otherwise inhibit failure due to force applications and reactions; and

(3) The test shall be conducted as follows:

(i) A minimum of 200,000 pounds (90,718.5 kg) vertical downward load shall be applied continuously for at least 5 minutes to the test coupler head simultaneously with the application of a nominal 2,000 pounds (907.2 kg) buff load;

(ii) The procedures prescribed in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section, shall be repeated with a minimum vertical upward load of 200,000 pounds (90,718.5 kg); and

(iii) A minimum of three consecutive successful tests shall be performed for each load combination prescribed in paragraphs (c)(3) (i) and (ii) of this section. A test is successful when a vertical disengagement or material failure does not occur during the application of any of the loads prescribed in this paragraph.

(d) Authorized couplers. As an alternative to the test verifications in paragraph (c) of this section, the following couplers are authorized:

(1) E double shelf couplers designated by the Association of American Railroads' Catalog Nos., SE60CHT, SE60CC, SE60CHTE, SE60CE, SE60DC, SE60DE, SE67CC, SE67CE, SE67BHT, SE67BC, SE67BHTE, SE67BE, SE68BHT, SE68BC, SE68BHTE, SE68BE, SE69AHTE, and SE69AE.

(2) F double shelf couplers designated by the Association of American Railroads' Catalog Nos., SF70CHT, SF70CC, SF70CHTE, SF70CE, SF73AC, SF73AE, SF73AHT, SF73AHTE, SF79CHT, SF79CC, SF79CHTE, and SF79CE.

[Amdt. 179-42, 54 FR 38797, Sept. 20, 1989]

§ 179.15 - Pressure relief devices.

Except for DOT Class 106, 107, 110, and 113 tank cars, tanks must have a pressure relief device, made of material compatible with the lading, that conforms to the following requirements:

(a) Performance standard. Each tank must have a pressure relief device, made of materials compatible with the lading, having sufficient flow capacity to prevent pressure build-up in the tank to no more than the flow rating pressure of the pressure relief device in fire conditions as defined in appendix A of the AAR Specifications for Tank Cars (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).

(b) Settings for reclosing pressure relief devices. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a reclosing pressure relief valve must have a minimum start-to-discharge pressure equal to the sum of the static head and gas padding pressure and the lading vapor pressure at the following reference temperatures:

(i) 46 °C (115 °F) for noninsulated tanks;

(ii) 43 °C (110 °F) for tanks having a thermal protection system incorporating a metal jacket that provides an overall thermal conductance at 15.5 °C (60 °F) of no more than 10.22 kilojoules per hour per square meter per degree Celsius (0.5 Btu per hour/per square foot/per degree F) temperature differential; and

(iii) 41 °C (105 °F) for insulated tanks.

(2)(i) The start-to-discharge pressure of a pressure relief device may not be lower than 5.17 Bar (75 psig) or exceed 33 percent of the minimum tank burst pressure.

(ii) Tanks built prior to October 1, 1997 having a minimum tank burst pressure of 34.47 Bar (500 psig) or less may be equipped with a reclosing pressure relief valve having a start-to-discharge pressure of not less than 14.5 percent of the minimum tank burst pressure but no more than 33 percent of the minimum tank burst pressure.

(3) The vapor tight pressure of a reclosing pressure relief valve must be at least 80 percent of the start-to-discharge pressure.

(4) The flow rating pressure must be 110 percent of the start-to-discharge pressure for tanks having a minimum tank burst pressure greater than 34.47 Bar (500 psig) and from 110 percent to 130 percent for tanks having a minimum tank burst pressure less than or equal to 34.47 Bar (500 psig).

(5) The tolerance for a reclosing pressure relief valve is ±3 psi for valves with a start-to-discharge pressure of 6.89 Bar (100 psig) or less and ±3 percent for valves with a start-to-discharge pressure greater than 6.89 Bar (100 psig).

(c) Flow capacity of pressure relief devices. The total flow capacity of each reclosing and nonreclosing pressure relief device must conform to appendix A of the AAR Specifications for Tank Cars.

(d) Flow capacity tests. The manufacturer of any reclosing or nonreclosing pressure relief device must design and test the device in accordance with appendix A of the AAR Specifications for Tank Cars.

(e) Combination pressure relief systems. A non-reclosing pressure relief device may be used in series with a reclosing pressure relief valve. The pressure relief valve must be located outboard of the non-reclosing pressure relief device.

(1) When a breaking pin device is used in combination with a reclosing pressure relief valve, the breaking pin must be designed to fail at the start-to-discharge pressure specified in paragraph (b) of this section, and the reclosing pressure relief valve must be designed to discharge at not greater than 95 percent of the start-to-discharge pressure.

(2) When a rupture disc is used in combination with a reclosing pressure relief valve, the rupture disc must be designed to burst at the pressure specified in paragraph (b) of this section, and the reclosing pressure relief valve must be designed to discharge at not greater than 95 percent of the pressure. A device must be installed to detect any accumulation of pressure between the rupture disc and the reclosing pressure relief valve. The detection device must be a needle valve, trycock, or tell-tale indicator. The detection device must be closed during transportation.

(3) The vapor tight pressure and the start-to-discharge tolerance is based on the discharge setting of the reclosing pressure relief device.

(f) Nonreclosing pressure relief device. In addition to paragraphs (a), (b)(4), (c), and (d) of this section, a nonreclosing pressure relief device must conform to the following requirements:

(1) A non-reclosing pressure relief device must incorporate a rupture disc designed to burst at a pressure equal to the greater of 100% of the tank test pressure, or 33% of the tank burst pressure.

(2) The approach channel and the discharge channel may not reduce the required minimum flow capacity of the pressure relief device.

(3) The non-reclosing pressure relief device must be designed to prevent interchange with other fittings installed on the tank car, must have a structure that encloses and clamps the rupture disc in position (preventing any distortion or damage to the rupture disc when properly applied), and must have a cover, with suitable means of preventing misplacement, designed to direct any discharge of the lading downward.

(4) The non-reclosing pressure relief device must be closed with a rupture disc that is compatible with the lading and manufactured in accordance with Appendix A of the AAR Specifications for Tank Cars. The tolerance for a rupture disc is + 0 to −15 percent of the burst pressure marked on the disc.

(g) Location of relief devices. Each pressure relief device must communicate with the vapor space above the lading as near as practicable on the longitudinal center line and center of the tank.

(h) Marking of pressure relief devices. Each pressure relief device and rupture disc must be permanently marked in accordance with the appendix A of the AAR Specifications for Tank Cars.

[Amdt. 179-52, 61 FR 28678, June 5, 1996, as amended by Amdt. 179-52, 61 FR 50255, Sept. 25, 1996; 62 FR 51561, Oct. 1, 1997; 64 FR 51919, Sept. 27, 1999; 66 FR 45390, Aug. 28, 2001; 68 FR 75759, Dec. 31, 2003]

§ 179.16 - Tank-head puncture-resistance systems.

(a) Performance standard. When the regulations in this subchapter require a tank-head puncture-resistance system, the system shall be capable of sustaining, without any loss of lading, coupler-to-tank-head impacts at relative car speeds of 29 km/hour (18 mph) when:

(1) The weight of the impact car is at least 119,295 kg (263,000 pounds);

(2) The impacted tank car is coupled to one or more backup cars that have a total weight of at least 217,724 kg (480,000 pounds) and the hand brake is applied on the last “backup” car; and

(3) The impacted tank car is pressurized to at least 6.9 Bar (100 psig).

(b) Verification by testing. Compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section shall be verified by full-scale testing according to appendix A of this part.

(c) Alternative compliance by other than testing. As an alternative to requirements prescribed in paragraph (b) of this section, compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section may be met by installing full-head protection (shields) or full tank-head jackets on each end of the tank car conforming to the following:

(1) The full-head protection (shields) or full tank-head jackets must be at least 1.27 cm (0.5 inch) thick, shaped to the contour of the tank head and made from steel having a tensile strength greater than 379.21 N/mm 2 (55,000 psi).

(2) The design and test requirements of the full-head protection (shields) or full tank-head jackets must meet the impact test requirements in Section 5.3 of the AAR Specifications for Tank Cars (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).

(3) The workmanship must meet the requirements in Section C, Part II, Chapter 5, of the AAR Specifications for Design, Fabrication, and Construction of Freight Cars (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).

[Amdt. 179-50, 60 FR 49077, Sept. 21, 1995, as amended by Amdt. 179-50, 61 FR 33255, June 26, 1996; 66 FR 45390, Aug. 28, 2001; 68 FR 75759, Dec. 31, 2003]

§ 179.18 - Thermal protection systems.

(a) Performance standard. When the regulations in this subchapter require thermal protection on a tank car, the tank car must have sufficient thermal resistance so that there will be no release of any lading within the tank car, except release through the pressure release device, when subjected to:

(1) A pool fire for 100 minutes; and

(2) A torch fire for 30 minutes.

(b) Thermal analysis. (1) Compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section shall be verified by analyzing the fire effects on the entire surface of the tank car. The analysis must consider the fire effects on and heat flux through tank discontinuities, protective housings, underframes, metal jackets, insulation, and thermal protection. A complete record of each analysis shall be made, retained, and upon request, made available for inspection and copying by an authorized representative of the Department. The procedures outlined in “Temperatures, Pressures, and Liquid Levels of Tank Cars Engulfed in Fires,” DOT/FRA/OR&D-84/08.11, (1984), Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC (available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA) shall be deemed acceptable for analyzing the fire effects on the entire surface of the tank car.

(2) When the analysis shows the thermal resistance of the tank car does not conform to paragraph (a) of this section, the thermal resistance of the tank car must be increased by using a system listed by the Department under paragraph (c) of this section or by testing a new or untried system and verifying it according to appendix B of this part.

(c) Systems that no longer require test verification. The Department maintains a list of thermal protection systems that comply with the requirements of appendix B of this part and that no longer require test verification. Information necessary to equip tank cars with one of these systems is available in the PHMSA Records Center, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, East Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

[Amdt. 179-50, 60 FR 49077, Sept. 21, 1995, as amended by Amdt. 179-50, 61 FR 33256, June 26, 1996; 66 FR 45390, Aug. 28, 2001; 70 FR 56099, Sept. 23, 2005; 72 FR 55696, Oct. 1, 2007]

§ 179.20 - Service equipment; protection systems.

If an applicable tank car specification authorizes location of filling or discharge connections in the bottom shell, the connections must be designed, constructed, and protected according to paragraphs E9.00 and E10.00 of the AAR Specifications for Tank Cars (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).

[68 FR 75759, Dec. 31, 2003]

§ 179.22 - Marking.

In addition to any other marking requirement in this subchapter, the following marking requirements apply:

(a) Each tank car must be marked according to the requirements in appendix C of the AAR Specifications for Tank Cars (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).

(b) Each tank car that requires a tank-head puncture-resistance system must have the letter “S” substituted for the letter “A” in the specification marking.

(c) Each tank car that requires a tank-head puncture-resistance system, a thermal protection system, and a metal jacket must have the letter “J” substituted for the letter “A” or “S” in the specification marking.

(d) Each tank car that requires a tank-head puncture-resistance system, a thermal protection system, and no metal jacket must have the letter “T” substituted for the letter “A” or “S” in the specification marking.

(e) Each tank car manufactured after March 16, 2009 to meet the requirements of § 173.244(a)(2) or (3) or § 173.314(c) or (d) shall be marked with the letter “I” following the test pressure instead of the letter “W”. (Example: DOT 105J600I).

[Amdt. 179-50, 60 FR 49077, Sept. 21, 1995, as amended by Amdt. 179-50, 61 FR 33256, June 26, 1996; 68 FR 75759, Dec. 31, 2003; 74 FR 1802, Jan. 13, 2009]

§ 179.24 - Stamping.

(a)(1) After July 25, 2012, to certify compliance with federal requirements, the tank manufacturer must install two identical permanent identification plates, one located on both inboard surfaces of the body bolsters of the tank car. One identification plate must be installed on the right side (AR) of the tank car, and the other must be installed on the back end left side (BL) body bolster webs so that each plate is readily accessible for inspection. The plates must be at least 3/32 inch thick and manufactured from corrosion resistant metal. When the tank jacket (flashing) covers the body bolster web and identification plates, additional identical plates must be installed on the AR and BL corners of the tank in a visible location. Tank cars built before July 25, 2012, may have the plate instead of or in addition to the stamping.

(2) Each plate must be stamped, embossed, or otherwise marked by an equally durable method in letters 3/16 inch high with the following information (parenthetical abbreviations may be used, and the AAR form reference is to the applicable provisions of the AAR Specifications for Tank Cars (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter):

(i) Tank Manufacturer (Tank MFG): Full name of the car builder as shown on the certificate of construction (AAR form 4-2).

(ii) Tank Manufacturer's Serial Number (SERIAL NO): For the specific car.

(iii) AAR Number (AAR NO): The AAR number from line 3 of AAR Form 4-2.

(iv) Tank Specification (SPECIFICATION): The specification to which the tank was built from line 7 of AAR form 4-2.

(v) Tank Shell Material/Head Material (SHELL MATL/HEAD MATL): ASTM or AAR specification of the material used in the construction of the tank shell and heads from lines 15 and 16 of AAR Form 4-2. For Class DOT-113W, DOT-115W, AAR-204W, and AAR-206W, the materials used in the construction of the outer tank shell and heads must be listed. Only list the alloy (e.g., 5154) for aluminum tanks and the type (e.g., 304L or 316L) for stainless steel tanks.

(vi) Insulation Material (INSULATION MATL): Generic names of the first and second layer of any thermal protection/insulation material applied.

(vii) Insulation Thickness (INSULATION THICKNESS): In inches.

(viii) Underframe/Stub Sill Type (UF/SS DESIGN): The design from Line 32 of AAR Form 4-2.

(ix) Date of Manufacture (DATE OF MFR): The month and year of tank manufacture. If the underframe has a different built date than the tank, show both dates.

(3) When a modification to the tank changes any of the information shown in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the car owner or the tank car facility making the modification must install an additional variable identification plate on the tank in accordance with paragraph (a)(1) of this section showing the following information:

(i) AAR Number (AAR NO): The AAR number from line 3 of AAR Form 4-2 for the alteration or conversion.

(ii) All items of paragraph (a)(2) of this section that were modified, followed by the month and year of modification.

(b) [Reserved].

[77 FR 37985, June 25, 2012, as amended at 81 FR 35545, June 2, 2016]