The railroad industry formed the Bureau of Explosives (BOE) in 1907 as a self-policing agency to advance the safe transportation of explosives and other dangerous articles. In fact, the BOE developed the first hazmat safety rules, which the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) later expanded upon. Today, the BOE remains dedicated to helping carriers, shippers and container manufacturers continually improve hazardous materials transportation safety.

Railroad Hazmat Resource Toolkit

Hazmat Seminar

The Association of American Railroads BOE Hazmat Seminar has been suspended until further notice. We are looking for new and innovative ways to present updates, share information and create opportunities for networking and would appreciate your input.

Reference Materials

  • AAR CPC 1245 Pamphlet 34 BOEProvides general guidelines for the selection of tank cars and recommended procedures for loading and unloading of the cars. The Spanish translation was provided by KCS and KCSM to AAR.

  •  AAR CPC 1384 OT-55-RRecommended Railroad Operating Practices for Transportation of Hazardous Materials
  • AAR CPC 1122 BOEProvides top ten best practices to help rail shippers reduce non-accident releases, improve emergency response communication and reduce the probability of incidents and accidents in hazmat transportation.
  • AAR US Hazmat Instructions Rail BOEDescribes how to handle hazardous material shipments or incidents safely and efficiently, without delay, and in accord with local, state, and federal regulations in order to comply with Department of Transportation regulations.
  • Position in Train Chart
  • AAR Intermodal Gate Operations BOEProvides instructions for how gate clerks must handle trailers/containers (both freight and tank containers) transporting hazardous materials during intermodal gate operations.
  • AAR Recommended Placard Placement Containers Portable Tanks BOENotifies industry professionals of how AAR recommends placing the placards on containers and portable tanks in order to reduce frustrations at ports.
  • AAR 2017 Field Guide For Tank Cars BOETo be used by emergency responders and others involved with railroad tank cars. Please note that if you would like to print multiple copies for training, you will need to email Andy Elkins at [email protected] for a release form. The Spanish translation was provided by KCS and KCSM to AAR.
  • Tank Car Damage Assessment Best Practices: Provides information for first responders and those responsible for dealing with railroad incidents that include tank car damage.

AAR / Hazmat and Emergency Response Database Industry Reference Files

AAR has released the 2018 pricing and order process for access to the Hazardous Materials Shipping Descriptions Data Base  (HMSDDB) and the Emergency Response Data Base (ERDB).

HMSDDB ERDB 2022 ORDER FORMinvoice Request Form

Tariff No. BOE-6000

Tariff No. BOE-6000 contains all the hazardous materials regulations currently issued by the US Department of Transportation. Unlike the US Code of Federal Regulations, which is published just once each year by the Government Printing Office, AAR updates and issues the Tariff No. BOE-6000 on a quarterly basis. Offered in print as either a complete book that is published, updated and issued each quarter or through quarterly updated supplements of the changes to the regulations. Also available in electronic versions that include both the US Regulations as well as Transport Canada’s Dangerous Goods Regulations. Highlights include:

  • Highlighted changes showing exact wording of regulatory text that was changed.
  • Hazardous Materials User Charts.
  • Quick reference, detailed List of Regulatory Changes each quarter.
  • UN/NA Cross Reference Guide.
  • Publisher’s Note preceding each Part or Subpart summarizing in plain language the contents covered.
  • Enhanced Hazardous Materials Table includes additional codes in Col. 1 of §172.101 Hazardous Materials Table identifying those materials that are hazardous substances or marine pollutants and added column for each entry linking it to the appropriate Emergency Response Guide.
  • Restrictions, including intermodal, for hazardous materials acceptance and transportation by rail.
  • Recommended placement of placards on containers and portable tanks.
  • Recommended methods for the safe loading and unloading of non-pressure (general service) and pressure tank cars.