Transportation equipment supplier Greenbrier will design a new generation tank car for the transport of flammable crude oil and ethanol.
The new Tank Car of the Future design is aimed to meet anticipated new industry and government standards for tank cars transporting hazardous material.
Greenbrier said it will also introduce retrofit options like high-flow pressure relief valves, head shields, top fittings protection and thermal protection for existing DOT-111 tank cars and newer cars that meet the current CPC-1232 standard mandated by AAR.
Of the 272,100 units in service as of November 2013, there were 255,000 DOT-111 tank cars with older legacy design in North America.
Greenbrier expects its new tank car design and retrofit offerings will comply with anticipated Class I rail carrier requirements as well as pending regulatory actions by the US and Canadian governments.
The company further said that the retrofitting work will not affect its production rates for new builds.
Greenbrier chairman and CEO William Furman said: "Greenbrier is addressing the tank car safety issue on two fronts; by supporting a Tank Car of the Future, and through offering retrofit alternatives for the legacy fleet, including our most recently built CPC-1232 tank cars, as may be appropriate.
"We are prepared to respond in part as the result of an order to build 500 pressure cars in North America.
"Our pressure car experience will aid our design effort on the Tank Car of the Future for non-pressurized hazardous service, including the transportation of crude oil and ethanol."
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) data indicates that 99.9977% of all rail-carried hazardous material arrives at its destination without incident.