National Academies Press: OpenBook
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26221.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD SPECIAL REPORT 339 Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative Committee for a Study on the Safe Transportation of Liquefied Natural Gas by Railroad Tank Car A Consensus Study Report of PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs i

Transportation Research Board Special Report 339 Subscriber Categories: Railroads; energy; research (about research); administration and management Transportation Research Board publications are available by ordering individual publications directly from the TRB Business Office, through the Internet at www.TRB.org or nationalacademies.org/trb, or by annual subscription through organizational or individual affiliation with TRB. Affiliates and library subscribers are eligible for substantial discounts. For further information, contact the Transportation Research Board Business Office, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (telephone 202-334-3213; fax 202-334-2519; or e-mail TRBsales@nas.edu). Copyright 2021 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America This publication was reviewed by a group other than the authors according to the procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine. This study was sponsored by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. International Standard Book Number-13: International Standard Book Number-10: Digital Object Identifier: Library of Congress Control Number: PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs ii

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. The Board’s varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state departments of transportation, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs iii

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task. Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies. For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs iv

COMMITTEE FOR A STUDY ON THE SAFE TRANSPORTATION OF LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS BY RAILROAD TANK CAR Craig E. Philip (NAE), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, Chair H. Norman Abramson (NAE), Southwest Research Institute (retired), San Antonio, TX Nii Attoh-Okine, University of Delaware, Newark Amos A. Avidan (NAE), Bechtel Corporation (retired), Houston, TX Christina M. Baxter, Emergency Response TIPS, LLC, Melbourne Beach, FL Lisa M. Bendixen, ICF International Inc., Fairfax, VA Jorge A. Carrasco, Ambipar Response US, Katy, TX Anay Luketa, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM Gregory G. Noll, South Central Task Force, Lancaster, PA Dimitris Rizos, University of South Carolina, Columbia William (Bill) C. Shust, Objective Engineers Inc., Naperville, IL Patrick J. Student, Gunnison, LLC, Elkhorn, NE Staff Micah D. Himmel, Study Director, Consensus and Advisory Studies Thomas R. Menzies, Jr., Director, Consensus and Advisory Studies Anusha Jayasinghe, Associate Program Officer, Consensus and Advisory Studies Tyler Kloefkorn, Senior Program Officer, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NOTE: See Appendix B, Disclosure of Unavoidable Conflicts of Interest. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs v

Preface Natural gas production in the United States has dramatically increased and exceeds the reach— especially in the Northeast—and capacity of the country’s gas transmission pipeline system. While pipelines are generally the most efficient means of transporting natural gas, compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) have been transported by marine vessel and truck for several decades. Seeking to deliver natural gas where pipeline access is limited, rail carriers in 2017 petitioned the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to transport LNG in bulk by rail tank car across the extensive North American freight railroad network. In 2019, PHMSA proposed a rulemaking to allow bulk transportation of LNG by DOT-113 tank car, issuing its final rule in 2020. To inform the rulemaking, PHMSA and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) established an interagency task force to conduct a multi-task initiative of research, data gathering, testing, modeling, and outreach. Subsequently, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 called on PHMSA to commission a study by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to examine the safety of transporting natural gas by rail. This report is the product of the first phase of a two-part study on the safe transportation of LNG by rail tank car. This study reviews the interagency initiative, which consists of “plans and activities to inform government and industry decisions about the transportation of LNG by rail and consider ways to ensure the continued safety of these shipments over the longer-term.” The complete study charge is presented in full and discussed in Chapter 1. To conduct the study, TRB convened a committee of experts whose fields include railroad engineering, safety, and operations; railway simulation; track and equipment failure analysis; accident investigation; heavy equipment full scale testing; hazardous materials safety regulation; hazardous materials transportation, packaging, and safe handling; LNG behavior; state and local emergency management; and risk analysis. Led by Craig E. Philip (National Academy of Engineering), Research Professor and Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Transportation and Operational Resiliency, the committee members authored the report’s conclusions and recommendations through a consensus effort while serving uncompensated in the public interest. Biographical information about the committee members appears at the end of the report. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee thanks the many individuals who contributed to its work. The PHMSA liaison for the study was Michael Klem, who provided contract oversight and handled information requests from the committee. The committee was briefed by or received information from the following PHMSA Office of Hazardous Materials Safety officials: Olivia Apple; Yolanda Braxton; Howard “Skip” Elliott, Administrator; William Quade; William Schoonover; and Robert Starin. The committee was briefed by or received information from the following FRA officials: Francisco González III; Mark Maday; and Phani Raj. Serving as the study director, Micah D. Himmel managed the study and drafted the report under the guidance of the committee and supervision of Thomas R. Menzies, Jr. Karen Febey managed the report review process. Tyler Kloefkorn assisted with developing parts of the report. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs vi

Anusha Jayasinghe provided administrative, logistical, and research support in addition to assisting with preparing the report for publication. This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The committee thanks the following individuals for their review of this report: Eric Gebhardt, Wabtec Corporation; Bo Barker Jørgensen, Aarhus University; Melvin Kanninen, MFK Consulting Services; John Samuels, Revenue Variable Engineering, LLC; Joseph Shepherd, California Institute of Technology; and Jo Strang, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Chris T. Hendrickson (National Academy of Engineering), Carnegie Mellon University (emeritus), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Roger McCarthy, McCarthy Engineering, Palo Alto, California. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs vii

Contents Summary 1 1 Introduction 9 Request for This Study, 12 Study Approach and Issues, 15 Report Organization, 16 2 Background on Liquefied Natural Gas and Its Transport 18 What Is LNG?, 18 LNG Properties and Hazard Characteristics, 19 Hazards in the Context of Rail Transportation, 20 3 Tasks Specifically Relevant to Transporting LNG by Rail 22 International Experience Transporting LNG by Rail, 22 Full-Scale Impact Testing for Tank Cars, 23 Punctures and Derailment Simulation Modeling, 25 Portable Tank Fire Testing, 26 Worst-Case Scenarios Model, 29 Quantitative Risk Assessment, 32 4 Tasks Relevant to Hazardous Materials Transport by Rail 35 Loading and Unloading Safety Assessment, 35 Safety and Security Route Risk Assessment, 36 Train Operational Controls, 38 Modal Conversion Between Truck and Rail, 39 Emergency Response Coordination, 41 Educational and Outreach Plan, 43 5 Tasks Broadly Relevant to Railroad Safety 45 Train Energy Dynamics Simulator, 45 Electronically Controlled Pneumatic Brakes, 46 Automated Track Inspection Program, 47 Appendixes A Study Committee Biographical Information 50 B Disclosure of Unavoidable Conflicts of Interest 55 PREPUBLICATION COPY—Uncorrected Proofs viii

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Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has not been transported to any significant degree by freight railroads in the United States. When the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 was enacted, it directed the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to convene a committee of independent experts to study the safe transportation of LNG by rail tank car.

TRB Special Report 339: Preparing for LNG by Rail Tank Car: A Review of a U.S. DOT Safety Research, Testing, and Analysis Initiative, from TRB and NASEM, finds that PHMSA’s task force presented a comprehensive plan of work that built on longstanding safety programs, as well as surfacing opportunities for future research. The findings in the report will serve as a good base for the second phase of TRB’s phased continued study of the issue. The next phase will be informed by this technical report; will consider experience transporting LNG in other modes, including marine tankers and cargo tank trucks; and will examine the applicability of existing emergency response plans, protocols, and guides for responding to any possible hazardous materials incidents of transporting LNG by rail.

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