Regulatory Proposals under Development

TC-140 Update

This information is provided as an update to Transport Canada’s work to introduce a new Class of tank cars for the transportation of flammable liquids by rail. Transport Canada continues to work expeditiously to bring forward a new tank car standard for the transport of flammable liquids.

Transport Canada continues to take appropriate safety action following the Lac-Mégantic incident. On July 2, 2014, Transport Canada published in Canada Gazette, Part II, a final rule to build flammable liquid tank cars to a higher standard, one which included thicker steel, half head shield and top fitting protection.

However, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) continues to recommend through its reports and following department/TSB consultations that Transport Canada establish even more stringent requirements for tank cars transporting flammable liquids.

Industry continues to indicate that the long-term need for Canada to diversify its oil and gas markets and build infrastructure to move these products to market remained strong despite the recent sharp oil price decline. The transport of petroleum crude oil by rail is expected to remain an important mode of transport to enable Canadian crude to reach its markets over the coming years.

Transport Canada recognizes the integrated nature of rail transport in North America and has taken note of recommendations from the Transportation of Dangerous Goods General Policy Advisory Council and many others that a harmonized standard is essential.

Therefore, Transport Canada continues to work in close collaboration with the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration to develop stricter requirements for tank cars carrying flammable liquids in North America. The US is following its own regulatory processes and will make its own decisions on this standard.

In the meantime, this new standard, formerly refered to as the TC-140, is now being called TC-117. It would require a tank car used to transport flammable liquids to be jacketed, thermally protected, with thicker steel, full head shields, top fitting protection and new bottom outlet valve.

Transport Canada has reviewed and considered all the comments received on its TC-140 proposal which was posted online in July 2014. We would like to thank all stakeholders who provided their comments.

There are currently about 147,000 TC 111 tank cars in North American flammable liquids service. About 80,000 of these tank cars were built prior to 2011. It is estimated that an additional 7,500 TP14877/CPC1232 jacketed tank cars will be constructed for crude oil service in 2015. By the end of 2015, it is expected that about 115,000 of these tank cars will be used for the transport of crude oil and ethanol.

The proposed Regulation would require industry to manufacture  new tank cars used to transport flammable liquids to meet the TC-117 requirements, once it is in force.  Transport Canada would propose a risk-based approach for implementing a new flammable liquids service tank car. This risk-based approach would be driven by the type of tank car (unjacketed versus jacketed, for example) and the flammable liquid being transported.

Following consultations, the intention would be to include braking requirements, including ECP braking, into operating rules such as the Key Trains/Key Routes Rules rather than as part of the tank car standards.  To this end, technical discussions with the U.S. to achieve harmonized Canada/US braking requirements continue.  Transport Canada will also continue to consult the Canadian industry as it seeks to implement the appropriate braking requirements to further advance rail safety.

Transport Canada expects that once the proposed requirements are adopted in the Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations, subject to Governor in Council approval, industry would retrofit all TC-111 tank cars that transport flammable liquids, such as petroleum crude oil, by following the implementation timelines described below.

Questions about the TC-117 standard may be addressed to the:

Regulatory Affairs Branch
Transport Dangerous Goods Directorate,
Department of Transport,
Place de Ville, Tower C, 9th Floor
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0N5

Fax: 613-993-5925

TC 117 Timelines

Canadian Implementation Dates Flammable Liquid /
Packing Group(s)
Tank Car Type
removed from Service
May 1, 2017 Crude Oil DOT-111
May 1, 2020 Ethanol DOT-111
December 1, 2020 All Crude (PG I, II, III) and Ethanol DOT-111
July 1, 2023 Crude Oil and Ethanol Non-Jacketed CPC 1232
May 1, 2025 Crude Oil and Ethanol and
all remaining Flammable Liquids (PG I, II, III)
Jacketed CPC 1232 in Crude Oil service
all remaining DOT-111 Jacketed and
Non-Jacketed and CPC 1232 tank cars

The Regulation prescribes the tank car to be used to transport flammable liquids. The above timelines would remove older DOT 111 tank cars from service unless they are retrofitted to the prescribed standard. For example, after May 1, 2017, a person would be required to transport a flammable liquid in either the new TC/DOT 117 tank car, a retrofitted TC/DOT 111or a TP14877/CPC1232 tank car corresponding to the above-noted timelines.

TC 117 Tank Car Specifications

TC 117 Tank car specifications
1. Top-Fitting Protection - This feature essentially covers the valves and accessories on top of a tank car. It also protects the pressure release valve from damage. For the TC/DOT 117 tank car, the top-fitting requirement is similar to the TP14877/CPC1232 requirements.

2. Thermal Protection including a Jacket - This feature is an outer cover that is placed on the exterior of the shell, used mainly to provide thermal protection and keep insulation in place. The thermal protection required for the TC/DOT 117 tank car has to withstand a 100 minute pool fire and a 30 minute jet fire without rupturing.

3. Thicker Normalized Steel – Thicker shell and heads provide improved puncture resistance and structural strength. Using normalized steel improves the toughness and ductility of the material, providing increased fracture resistance of the tank car. The regulation prescribes a thickness of 9/16th of an inch.

4. Head Shields - This required feature helps protect the head of the tank car from puncture. The improved TC/DOT 117 requires a full head shield that covers the entire head of the tank car.

5. Improved Bottom Outlet Valves - This required feature is designed for valves to withstand derailments and helps to ensure they don’t leak during a potential accident.

Comparison Table of features for TC/DOT 111, TP 14877/CPC 1232 and TC/DOT 117

Specifications Older Legacy DOT 111 tank cars DOT-111(CPC 1232)/TP14877 built since 2011 to standard published in Part II of the Canada Gazette July 2, 2014 New
TC/DOT 117
1. Head Shields No Half Full
2. Top Fitting Protection Optional Mandatory Mandatory
3. Thermal Protection (Jacket) Optional Optional Mandatory
4. Thickness of Steel 11.1 mm (7/16”) 12.7 mm (1/2 inch) for non-jacketed cars

11.1 mm (7/16 inch) for jacketed cars
14.3 mm (9/16 inch) minimum
5. Performance Standard for Bottom Outlet Valves No No Yes
6. Performance Standard for Thermal Protection, Top-Fitting Protection and Head and Shell Puncture Resistance No No Yes