Enhancing the Capabilities of Railcar Chlorine Transport

By OPW | Dec 17, 2019
Anyone who has ever opened a bottle of household bleach is familiar with the pungent odor of chlorine. However, because chlorine is such a common ingredient in household cleaning products, drinking water and swimming pools, users of chlorine-based products may not be readily aware of how dangerous overexposure to it can be.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to elevated concentrations of chlorine can lead to the following symptoms: blurred vision; burning pain, redness and blisters on the skin; a burning sensation in the nose, throat and eyes; watery eyes; coughing; chest tightness; shortness of breath; wheezing; nausea and vomiting; and fluid in the lungs.
Complicating any attempts to limit exposure to chlorine is the fact that it is one of the most commonly manufactured chemicals in the United States. That’s because chlorine is a foundational piece in the manufacture of a wide array of different products, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a versatile plastic used in the manufacturing of many diverse products including paper, cloth, pesticides, rubber and solvents.
Much of the chlorine that is produced in the U.S. is transported from production facility to end user via railroads. This, combined with the fact that chlorine is a hazardous material, makes it imperative that it is handled and shipped safely via rail tank cars that have been specifically designed for chlorine transport.
Recognizing the dangers inherent in chlorine transport, Midland Manufacturing, Inc., Skokie, IL, has developed an Enhanced Fittings Package for use on Next Generation Rail Tank Cars (NGRTC) that are the lifeblood of chlorine shipping in the U.S. The fittings package is designed with all seals located at or below the surface of the pressure plate, which reduces the risk of product loss to the atmosphere in the event of a rollover incident or catastrophic damage to the fittings.
The specific equipment in this chlorine-dedicated Enhanced Fittings Package includes:

Pressure Relief Valves (PRV)

  • A-14378-ML: Soft-seated valves ensure a positive and consistent seal, while the rupture disc and PRV are independently mounted, allowing the PRV to be removed for service without releasing any commodity to the atmosphere.
  • A-14377C-ML: Corrosion-resistant PRV with improved sealing technology that reduces the possibility of leaks due to improper application. Redundant sealing also guards against the formation of leak paths, which promotes valve longevity and reliable chlorine transport.

Angle Valves

  • A-713-ML: Maximum protection is guaranteed through corrosion-resistant construction while a triple seal design reduces the number of potential leak paths. The soft-seated design also provides bubble-tight valve shutoff.

Check Valves

  • A-127: Engineered to provide reliable, high flow rates in conjunction with high-flow disturbance sensitivity for safe operation. Non-galling assembly keeps valve from sliding easily without binding that can cause damage to the loading system.
  • A-719-ML/A-190: Offers a 1-inch angle valve paired with a check valve for comprehensive anti-leak protection.

Pressure Plates

  • 9100-CS: An 18-inch manway cover plate that is designed to position the liquid valve location on the longitudinal centerline of the railcar. Approved for use with most PRV designs and ideal for retrofitting on existing tank cars.

All components in the Enhanced Fittings Package for chlorine transport meet the rulemaking requirements from the Federal Railway Administration (FRA) and Association of American Railroads (AAR), both of which are dedicated to improving the safety of rail-based chlorine shipments.

Because railcar fleets dedicated to hauling chlorine are not identical, Midland works with each transporter individually to build the best chlorine-transport fittings package. The result is a solution that delivers the best in railcar uptime, bottom-line optimization, safety and peace of mind for the railroad operator, rail personnel, end user, the environment and the population in general. 

For more information on Midland Manufacturing, Inc., and its complete portfolio of rail tank car products, please visit midlandmfg.com.