The extensive North American freight rail network is currently operated with diesel as the sole fuel source. However, the Class 1 railways have recently started to explore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as an alternative fuel source, which has a lower environmental impact and could provide fuel cost savings compared to diesel. The efforts to develop industry standards for fuel tenders is being led under the Association of American Railroads (AAR) Natural Gas Fuel Tender (NGFT) Technical Advisory Group (TAG), a joint effort of the AAR Locomotive, Tank Car, and Equipment Engineering Committees, with multiple participants from industry.
A significant section of the standards for LNG tenders are the performance requirements to ensure safety in collisions. As part of this effort, the NGFT TAG has been working in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to define a suitable set of collision load cases and associated safety performance requirements. In support of these efforts, a series of analyses have been performed for the various collision load cases to support the development of suitable methodologies to evaluate the load cases and inform the NGFT TAG and other stakeholders related to the safety performance of NGFT designs. Results from these efforts are described in this paper.