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BNSF defends preferential rates for customers using new-design tankcars

BNSF Railway officials say encouraging customers to use newer and safer tankcars is the responsible thing to do. That includes offering rate discounts.

BNSF’s policy is being challenged in federal court by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, a trade association representing refining and petrochemical companies. BNSF recently implementation of rate discounts for crude shippers that load their product in rail cars with improved safety characteristics.

“We believe that our rate structure appropriately supports customers who are working to move to a safer car, which is in the interest of rail shippers, BNSF employees, and the communities we serve,” BNSF said in a recent statement. “This rate structure is also consistent with BNSF’s ongoing efforts to ensure the safe transport of crude on our network, including voluntary adoption of enhanced operating practices around crude oil shipments and requesting the federal government to make newer, safer tankcars the new standard for crude-by-rail shipments, replacing the older DOT-111 and non-modified CPC-1232 cars.”

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