Railroad & Tank Car Information

The RFA Best Practices for Rail Transport of Fuel Ethanol document presents general guidelines for the ethanol industry to promote improved regulatory compliance and to communicate industry best practices for the continued safe transport of ethanol via rail.

Currently, shippers of hazardous materials are utilizing an Ethanol Tank Car Loading Checklist  to ensure that their cars are fit to be released for transport.

The renewable fuels industry is always looking to reduce the number of product releases as a result of failures in the assembly of manway bolted joints and threaded connections on tank cars. RFA published the Guidelines for Hinged and Bolted Manway Assembly for Ethanol and Flammable Liquids Industries providing industry personnel with procedures and standards for the inspection, maintenance, and securement of a hinged and bolted manway to ensure leak-free performance.

poster and brochure, How to Properly Close a Tank Car Manway, are available that condense the information found in the Guidelines. The poster and brochure highlight the inspection, gasket selection, star pattern for closing, and the proper tools and torque needed to ensure the manway is closed in a tight, secure manner.

At times tank cars may have been used to deliver other commodities, such as crude oil and other unrefined products that could contaminate denatured fuel ethanol without proper cleaning and inspection. The RFA Crude to Ethanol Conversion Practice Guidelines was developed to assist in the cleaning of crude oil tank cars returning to denatured fuel ethanol service.


Other information available:

Spanish Version: Ethanol Safety Shipping Brochure

Ethanol Tank Car Loading Volumes Calculations Spreadsheet

RFA Safety Bulletin for Ethanol Placarding on Railcars

Pamphlet 34 Recommended Methods for the Safe Loading and Unloading of Non-Pressure (General Service) and Pressure Tank Cars (CPC-1245) January 2013 Association of American Railroads