Under the common carrier obligation, the federal government requires railroads to transport hazmat, whether they want to or not. Trucks and barges do not have this same obligation and may refuse to carry hazmat at their discretion.
Union Pacific does not make Toxic Inhalation Hazard materials, own the tank cars that move TIH or decide the origin or destination to which it is shipped. However, the common carrier obligation requires Union Pacific to transport TIH.
Rail shipment of TIH is the safest option for above-the-ground transport.
- Trucks are 16 times more likely than trains to have a hazmat incident.
- More than 99.99 percent of rail hazmat shipments reached their destination without a release caused by a train accident, and rail hazmat accident rates are down 91 percent since 1980.
Union Pacific invests heavily in time and money to improve TIH transportation safety, implementing and funding an array of security and safety TIH-related initiatives, exceeding mandatory TIH-compliance measures, including:
- Security audits
- Yard surveillance
- Extra car/track inspections
- Speed restriction
- Strict chain of custody and control
- Reducing dwell times in HTUAs
We recognize that rail shipment of TIH is the safest option for above-the-ground transport, and we are continually evaluating and investing in our processes and procedures to ensure that all hazardous materials continue to be handled with the highest level of safety and security. We are proud of our excellent safety record and are supportive of proven efforts to enhance safety.