MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

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MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby MQT3001 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:33 am

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/06 ... latestnews

A train carrying crude oil has derailed in a Quebec town, sparking several explosions and forcing the evacuation of up to 1,000 people.
Several people were reported missing after the derailment Saturday morning. Quebec provincial police Lt. Michel Brunet says it is too early to say if there are any casualties in the town of Lac Megantic (Lack MAH-Gan-Tic), about 155 miles east of Montreal.
Flames and billowing smoke could be seen for several miles hours after the derailment. Some of the train's 73 cars exploded and the fire spread to a number of homes.
Environment Quebec spokesman Christian Blanchette says a large but undetermined amount of fuel also spilled into the Chaudiere River.
The train, reportedly heading toward Maine, belongs to Montreal Maine & Atlantic.
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby CSX_CO » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:17 pm

Just out of curiosity, can crude oil 'explode'? I know oil will burn, but I don't think it will 'explode' on its own? That is one of the reasons touted for moving it via rail, it isn't that 'explosive'.

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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby ns8401 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:24 pm

CSX_CO wrote:Just out of curiosity, can crude oil 'explode'? I know oil will burn, but I don't think it will 'explode' on its own? That is one of the reasons touted for moving it via rail, it isn't that 'explosive'.

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When it ignites there might be a fireball or high fire effect.
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby JStryker722 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:09 am

The fumes in those tanks have the potiental for an explosion much more than oil itself does. And I could see a fireball effect in a case like that go explosive in those high pressure tank cars.
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby MQT3001 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:49 am

Update: Police anticipate more deaths in Quebec Train Derailment, after finding 3 dead

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/07 ... latestnews
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby M.D.Bentley » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:42 am

How do they know that the train was a runaway ? I'll wait here. :?
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby mikekmac » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:43 pm

M.D.Bentley wrote:How do they know that the train was a runaway ? I'll wait here. :?


They found the five locomotives with their brakes still set. It isn't clear to me if they found them where it had been parked 4km uphill, or somewhere intermediate. But the locomotives did not go down into town with the tank cars.

UPDATE: this from the CBC this afternoon --

"It is still not clear what caused the train cars to roll downhill and leave the tracks. The company reports that the train was stopped 6.8 kilometres uphill from the town at 11:25 p.m. by the engineer. At some point before 1:15 a.m. ET, the train moved downhill. Railway personnel pulled 13 cars intact from the rear of the train at the scene.“We will be taking a look at the black box. Hopefully we’ll recover that,” Glen Pilon, an investigator with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, said Saturday afternoon."

I'm really not at all clear about what happened now.
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby mikekmac » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:48 pm

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/cms/binary/8625811.jpg
Image

http://www.unionleader.com/storyimage/UL/20130706/NEWS07/130709534/AR/0/AR-130709534.jpg?q=100
Image

View of the accident scene. The runaway came downhill from the left (west) and derailed at the curve. The boxcars visible to the right in some photos are parked in a small railyard behind main street.
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby CSX_CO » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:23 pm

JStryker722 wrote:The fumes in those tanks have the potiental for an explosion much more than oil itself does. And I could see a fireball effect in a case like that go explosive in those high pressure tank cars.


I saw somewhere else that they have LP Cars in the yard there. I'm more inclined to believe the runaway oil train ruptured a LP car that caused the explosion and then the subsequent oil fire.

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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby bdconrail29 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:43 pm

Correct, oil is not explosive. It burns very slowly.
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby A No.1 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:36 pm

http://news.msn.com/world/canadian-runa ... =ansnews11


Anyone know who the Carrier was? CN? CP? :?:
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby Norm » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:36 pm

A No.1 wrote:http://news.msn.com/world/canadian-runaway-oil-train-death-toll-rises-to-5-1?ocid=ansnews11


Anyone know who the Carrier was? CN? CP? :?:


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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby Norm » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:38 pm

bdconrail29 wrote:Correct, oil is not explosive. It burns very slowly.


Crude oil contains a lot of volatile light oils and gasses. Once a tank is ruptured and there is an ignition source you get lots of action.
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby A No.1 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:41 pm

LoL. I guess I never heard of them. I do live under a rock you know
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby telus6429 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:43 pm

here is a set of great pictures, but the story is in french.

http://www.spiq.ca/v2/ailleurs/2013_07_06_Incendie_Lac-Megantic/index.html
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby MQT3001 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:46 pm

telus6429 wrote:here is a set of great pictures, but the story is in french.

http://www.spiq.ca/v2/ailleurs/2013_07_06_Incendie_Lac-Megantic/index.html

Wow. That's all I can come up with. :|
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby GreatLakesRailfan » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:05 pm

telus6429 wrote:here is a set of great pictures, but the story is in french.

http://www.spiq.ca/v2/ailleurs/2013_07_06_Incendie_Lac-Megantic/index.html


Great fire truck pictures.

From the looks of the photos, there might not be anything left of some of the victims.

EDIT:
I still can't read French, but it looks like the site might have more than one page of photos from the event. I also found this page:http://www.spiq.ca/v2/ailleurs/2013_07_06_Lac-Megantic/index.html which appears to have different pictures than the link posted above.
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby bctrainfan » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:48 am

Norm wrote:
bdconrail29 wrote:Correct, oil is not explosive. It burns very slowly.


Crude oil contains a lot of volatile light oils and gasses. Once a tank is ruptured and there is an ignition source you get lots of action.


I also would have thought crude oil would be unlikely to explode, like fuel oil or diesel, but I was also wrong apparently, after looking into it further. It is covered in DOT Guide 128 which in a nutshell describes it as highly flammable with highly explosive vapors. I would guess that Norm gives the correct reason for this above, the unrefined oil still contains a lot of the lighter more volatile products. So an explosion from a ruptured tank would be plausible.

Now some of you RR guys can maybe shed some light on this....news reports say the train was tied down, unattended, when part of the train "broke loose" and rolled downhill as a runaway. This seems unlikely without some other action or event to cause this, like someone tampering with the train? Even if it did uncouple somehow, wouldn't the brakes be set so that it would not roll away? Or maybe I don't have a clear understanding of how this operates?
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby M.D.Bentley » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:20 am

The 10 % rule should apply here. 1 hand brake for every 10 cars. More in you are on a hill or heavy cars. BUT, even if you tie down the head end of the train it doesn't stop someone from pulling the pin on the rear and bleeding them off. Maybe they had to cut a crossing up the hill ? That crude oil is heavy and once you knock off the brakes watch out! Only the official investigation will tell us what happened.
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Re: MMA Crude Train Derails and Explodes

Unread postby AARR » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:28 am

Norm wrote:
A No.1 wrote:http://news.msn.com/world/canadian-runaway-oil-train-death-toll-rises-to-5-1?ocid=ansnews11

Anyone know who the Carrier was? CN? CP? :?:

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Ex-BAR trackage IIRC. Furthermore, IIRC, they just leased/sold some of their northern trackage to another Canadian RR.
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