FAQ on Railway Tank Cars and Ton Containers

Design and Construction

Selection and Use

Railway Tank Car Facility Registration

Ton Container Manufacturers, Independent Inspectors and Test Facilities Registration

What is a railway tank car?

A railway tank car is a railway vehicle that is permanently equipped with a large tank used for transporting various dangerous goods.

What is a ton container?

A ton container is a large steel cylindrical drum with a water capacity between 679.5 kg (1500 lb) and 1177.8 kg (2600 lb) used for transporting various dangerous goods.

How do I identify a specification railway tank car?

Railway tank cars used for dangerous goods are permanently marked with information with respect to their specifications.

Each railway tank car must have identification markings including the following:

  1. car builder’s name;
  2. builder’s serial number;
  3. certificate of construction / exemption;
  4. tank specification;
  5. tank shell material / head material;
  6. insulation materials;
  7. insulation thickness;
  8. underframe / stub sill type; and
  9. date built.

Example:

CARBUILDERS NAME: ABC TANK CAR COMPANY

BUILDERS SERIAL NUMBER: 0000-00-000

CERTIFICATE OF CONSTRUCTION/EXEMPTION: A049006/SR 00001

TANK SPECIFICATION: TC-111A100W1

TANK SHELL MATERIAL/HEAD MATERIAL: TC128B/A516

INSULATION MATERIALS: CERAMIC FIBER/FIBERGLASS

INSULATION THICKNESS: 0.5 IN./3.5 IN.

UNDERFRAME/STUB SILL TYPE: PGK 001

DATE BUILT: OCT 2013

These plates are placed inside the AR and BL bolsters of the tank car.

In addition, the following stencils must be applied in accordance with Appendix C of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Specification for Tank Cars, M-1002.

Call Out Explanation
A AAR Reporting Mark (i.e.: ABCX 00000) – located at top of tank shell near the A-End
B AAR Reporting Mark, Load Limit and Light Weight – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to AL and AR bolsters
C Load Limit Star (indicates load limit restriction or reduction) – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to AL and AR bolsters
D AAR CERTIFIED SS NUMBER XX – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to AL and AR bolsters
E Dangerous Goods Placard – located on lower half of A-End, B-End and tank shell at BL and BR bolsters
F Manway Style Decal – located at top of tank shell at the manway cover
G Exceeding Dimensions Stencil – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to AL and AR bolsters
H Water Capacity – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to the vertical centerline towards the B-End
I Coating / Lining Stencil – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to the vertical centerline towards the B-End
J External Heater Coils or Leasing Stencil – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to the vertical centerline towards the B-End
K Date Built / Converted Stencil – located on stub sill adjacent to the vertical centerline towards the B-End and lower half of tank shell adjacent to BL and BR bolsters
L Brake Lever Badge Plate – located on stub sill adjacent to BL and BR bolsters
M Center Sills Reporting Marks – located on stub sill at BL and BR bolsters
N Tank Car Specification – located adjacent to the horizontal centerline towards the B-End
O (MATERIAL) CLAD TANK – located adjacent to the horizontal centerline towards the B-End
P Qualification Stencil (see details below) – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to BL and BR bolsters
Q Date Built / Converted Stencil – located on stub sill adjacent to the vertical centerline towards the B-End and lower half of tank shell adjacent to BL and BR bolsters
R Consolidated Stencil for Lubrication and Air Brakes – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to BL and BR bolsters
S 00 INCH HF COMP SHOES – located on stub sill adjacent to B-End
T AAR Reporting Mark (i.e.: ABCX 00000) Placard – located on upper half of A-End and B-End
U Water Capacity – located on upper half of A-End and B-End
V DOT Part 179 – located adjacent to the horizontal centerline of A-End and B-End
W Owner Specification Stencil – located adjacent to the horizontal centerline of A-End and B-End
X Center Sills Reporting Marks – located on stub sill adjacent to A-End and B-End
Y Commodity Name (not required in Canada) – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to BL and BR bolsters
Z Special Permit or Competent Authority Approval Stencil – located on lower half of tank shell adjacent to BL and BR bolsters

The Qualification Stencil (Call Out P) is useful in determining if the tank car is in standard.

STATION STENCIL QUALIFIED DUE
TANK QUALIFICATION ABC-1 1999 2009
THICKNESS TEST ABC-1 2000 2010
SERVICE EQUPMENT ABC-1 1999 2004
PRD : VALVE 75 PSI DEF-1 1999 2004
INT HTR SPGR FGL-1 1999 2004
LINING ABC-1 PP AUCUN
88.B.2 INSPECTION ABC-1 1999 2009
STUB SILL INSPECTION ABC-1 1999 2009

Please note that for lined tank cars the “Thickness Test Due Date” may be left blank or marked with an abbreviation such as “RMVL” as this requirement is linked to the removal and replacement of the lining rather than a fixed date.

How do I identify a specification ton container?

Ton containers used for dangerous goods are permanently marked with information with respect to their specifications.

Each ton container must have permanent markings on the valve end chime including the following:

  1. Specification;
  2. Ton container material and the cladding material designation, if any, stamped immediately below the specification number;
  3. The owner's or manufacturer's identifying symbol and serial number, stamped immediately below the material identification;
  4. The mark of the independent inspector referred to in clause 8.5.17, stamped immediately below the owner's or manufacturer's identifying symbol;
  5. Date of original tank test (month and year, such as 1 10 for January 2010), which must be stamped so as to allow the easy addition of subsequent test date; and
  6. The water capacity — 0000 lb.

Design and Construction

What are the design and construction requirements for a railway tank car?

Railway Tank Cars need to be designed and constructed in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations, the Transport Canada Standard TP14877– Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail and the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices, Section C, Part III.

What are the design and construction requirements for a ton container?

Ton Containers need to be designed and constructed in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations and the Transport Canada Standard TP14877– Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail.

Selection and Use

How do I select and use a railway tank car or ton container?

The selection and use of railway tank cars and ton containers must be done in accordance with the Transport Canada Standard TP14877– Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail. Certain dangerous goods of Class 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 may be transported using railway tank cars or ton containers.

How do I select and use a railway tank car for Class 3, Flammable Liquids?

Class 3, Flammable Liquids, must be transported in accordance with s.5.14(1)(b)(ii), s.5.14(1.1) and s.5.14.1 to s.5.15.11 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. A summary of the requirements are in the table below.

Date Summary
Before May 1, 2017

(s.5.14(1)(b)(ii), s.5.14(1.1) and s.5.14.1)
Can use Transport Canada Standard TP14877 for railway tank cars built before October 1, 2015. Clause 10.5.3 of Transport Canada Standard TP14877 is no longer applicable for Class 3, Flammable Liquids, Packaging Group I, II and III.
October 1, 2015 (s.5.15.6) All new manufactured tank cars for Class 3, Flammable Liquids, Packaging Group I, II and III must be TC/DOT 117 or TC/DOT 117P.
May 1, 2017 (s.5.14.2)

UN1170, UN1267, UN1268, UN1987, UN1993, UN3475 and UN3494
Clause 10.1 of the Transport Canada Standard TP14877 is no longer applicable for the following dangerous goods: UN1170, UN1267, UN1268, UN1987, UN1993, UN3475 and UN3494.

This means that all railway tank cars (including those originating from the USA) used for the handling, importing, offering for transport or transporting of the listed dangerous goods in Canada must meet the requirements in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations despite the packaging and qualification requirements for railway tank cars in 49 CFR.
May 1, 2017 (s.5.15)

UN1267, UN1268 and UN3494

Can use the following:

  • TC/DOT 105, 111, 112, 115 or 120 with jacket
  • Enhanced TC/DOT 111 with jacket
  • Enhanced TC/DOT 111 without jacket
  • TC/DOT 117, TC/DOT 117R and TC/DOT 117P
May 1, 2017 (s.5.15.1)

UN1267, UN1268 and UN3494

Can use the following:

  • Enhanced TC/DOT 111 with jacket
  • Enhanced TC/DOT 111 without jacket
  • TC/DOT 117, TC/DOT 117R and TC/DOT 117P
April 1, 2020 (s.5.15.2)

UN1267, UN1268 and UN3494

Can use the following:

  • Enhanced TC/DOT 111 with jacket
  • TC/DOT 117, TC/DOT 117R and TC/DOT 117P
May 1, 2023 (s.5.15.3)

UN1170, UN1987, UN1993 and UN3475

Can use the following:

  • Enhanced TC/DOT 111 with jacket
  • Enhanced TC/DOT 111 without jacket
  • TC/DOT 117, TC/DOT 117R and TC/DOT 117P
July 1, 2023 (s.5.15.4)

UN1170, UN1987, UN1993 and UN3475

Can use the following:

  • Enhanced TC/DOT 111 with jacket
  • TC/DOT 117, TC/DOT 117R and TC/DOT 117P
May 1, 2025 (s.5.15.5)

Class 3, Flammable Liquids, Packaging Group I, II and III

Can use the following:

  • TC/DOT 117, TC/DOT 117R and TC/DOT 117P
May 1, 2025 (s.5.14.3) Clause 10.1 of the Transport Canada Standard TP14877 is no longer applicable to all Class 3, Flammable Liquids, Packaging Group I, II and III.

This means that all railway tank cars (including those originating from the USA) used for the handling, importing, offering for transport or transporting of Class 3, Flammable Liquids in Canada, must meet the requirements in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations despite the packaging and qualification requirements for railway tank cars in 49 CFR.

Note 1 - Enhanced TC/DOT 111 (s.5.15.7)

Note 2 – TC/DOT 117 (s.5.15.9), TC/DOT 117R (s.5.15.8) and TC/DOT 117P (s.5.15.10)

For higher flash points, where it is greater than 60°C and less than or equal to 93°C, it can be transported as Class 3, Flammable Liquids, Packaging Group III as per s.1.34 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. The selection and use of the railway tank car will be in accordance with the requirements in the Transport Canada Standard TP14877 - Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail.

Railway Tank Car Facility Registration

How do I register my railway tank car facility?

A railway tank car facility must complete an application and apply for a certificate of registration. Applications for registration are available by contacting MOCregister-Registrecontenant@tc.gc.ca.

The following information is required to complete the application:

  1. name, street address, and mailing address of the facility applying for registration;
  2. detailed description of the facility, equipment, personnel, quality management system and of the functions that will be performed;
  3. AAR Registration or Certification;
  4. detailed description of all Non-Destructive Testing (NDT);
  5. detailed description of tank car qualification, repair and welding activities; and
  6. field maintenance and leak test procedures.

NOTE: A tank car facility must only perform the tank car, service equipment or lining and coating functions authorized by the certificate of registration.

Ton Container Manufacturers, Independent Inspectors and Test Facilities Registration

How do I register as a ton container manufacturer?

A ton container manufacturer must complete an application and apply for a certificate of registration. Applications for registration are available by contacting MOCregister-Registrecontenant@tc.gc.ca.

The following information is required to complete the application:

  1. name of the applicant, name of a contact person, street address and mailing address of the applicant;
  2. in the case of a ton container manufacturer:
    1. the name and location of the manufacturing facility and a description of the manufacturing process;
    2. the design information of the ton container, including service equipment;
    3. the name and address of the independent inspector; and
    4. a copy of a sample certificate of construction.

How do I register as a ton container independent inspector?

A ton container independent inspector must complete an application and apply for a certificate of registration. Applications for registration are available by contacting MOCregister-Registrecontenant@tc.gc.ca.

The following information is required to complete the application:

  1. name of the applicant, name of a contact person, street address and mailing address of the applicant;
  2. in the case of an independent inspector:
    1. the inspection functions that the applicant intends to perform;
    2. a statement of the qualifications of the inspection staff based on their experience and training; and
    3. a copy of a sample certificate of inspector's report.

How do I register as a ton container test facility?

A ton container test facility must complete an application and apply for a certificate of registration. Applications for registration are available by contacting MOCregister-Registrecontenant@tc.gc.ca.

The following information is required to complete the application:

  1. name of the applicant, name of a contact person, street address, and mailing address of the applicant;
  2. name and location of the test facility;
  3. description of the equipment, inspection and test procedures;
  4. statement of the qualifications of the inspection staff based on their experience and training; and
  5. copy of a test report.

NOTE: Ton container test facilities performing the hydrostatic pressure test, the air-pressure test or the visual inspection test must obtain a certificate of registration.

How do I amend, renew or cancel my registration?

A registration can be amended or renewed by completing an application and applying for an amendment or a renewal with respect to your registration. Applications for registration are available by contacting MOCregister-Registrecontenant@tc.gc.ca.

In the event that registration is no longer required, submit written confirmation to MOCregister-Registrecontenant@tc.gc.ca confirming that the certificate of registration is no longer required and that all activities related to the certificate of registration have ceased.

Where can I obtain more information?

For more information on matters pertaining to TP14877:

Inquiries pertaining to applications for registration:
1-855-298-1520
MOCregister-Registrecontenant@tc.gc.ca

Technical inquiries:
tdgcontainers-tmdcontenants@tc.gc.ca.
Please include the text “Railway Tank Cars or Ton Containers” in the subject line.

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