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Railroad Safety / Process Safety
We have been discussing the process safety/occupational safety issues to do with railroad accidents. Posts on the topic in reverse chronological order are:
We live on the tracks (the mainline between Florida and New England), so these issues are up close and personal — which is why there was great excitement in our neighborhood this morning. At about 10:10 a.m. (eastern time) a tree decided to fall on to the tracks: The weather was windy, but not exceptionally so.
Fortunately, a train was not going by at the time.
As you can see, the tree trunk was large, and its core was rotten. Informal estimates are that the tree is/was at 200 years old.
This accident is bad enough — it has shut down all freight and passenger traffic on a critical rail corridor. What would have happened had a train been going by at the time? There are at least two large freight trains going by every hour, and between 5 and 10% of the cars carry hazardous chemicals.
Here is an overhead picture of the East Palestine accident.
At 11:52 a.m. the first train came through; it was traveling very, very slowly.
And here is the first freight train (there were no chemical tank cars).
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