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A Nonny Moose

Yet Another Train Wreck

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Lye Spill

 

The article talks about inhaling this stuff.  It is a solid and may produce airborne dust, but unlikely.  It will burn anyone severely if touched.  The cleanup will be tricky, but afterwards any residue can be carefully neutralized with hydrochloric acid leaving only salt.

 

This seems to be the summer of train wrecks.  If all of them are "accidents", what does it say about the rail infrastructure and the rolling stock that hasn't been replaced frequently enough?

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Well you have to take into account that the rail lines were first laid in the 1800s, so rotting can occur, its possible rails become loose from the ties, even more the fact that LA was hit with hurricane Katrina and was badly damaged, the fact that this agent will "Burn anything if touched" makes me worry if it happened near a residential area.

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  • Original Poster
  • Well you have to take into account that the rail lines were first laid in the 1800s, so rotting can occur, its possible rails become loose from the ties, even more the fact that LA was hit with hurricane Katrina and was badly damaged, the fact that this agent will "Burn anything if touched" makes me worry if it happened near a residential area.

    Oh please, don't tell me that nobody inspected the sleepers since the tracks were built.  Several years after Katrina makes me think that the TSB will have a lot to say about this.

     

    Sodium Hydroxide solution is one of the first lab chemicals any student encounters, usually with lots of warning.  Mostly NaOH solution is found in labs as a 1N solution.  In many labs it is a very much standard reagent.

     

    Solid, in bulk, it is one of the most common items in chemical manufacturing including such mundane things as soaps and detergents after it has had some treatment to put it into solution.  The common name for this stuff is lye, but as such it is never found in USP pure form.  As I recall, it has a pH of 14 (maximum).

     

    "See how cute he says 'derail the train'" -- Phil Harris (That's my Boy).

     

    Many more facts are needed, and the TSB will undoubtedly report.

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    I suppose the relative numbers of motoring accidents and chemical spills and those on rail have not been given? I highly doubt rail is a major concern relative to road accidents and ship spills. 

     

    Rail is far more reliable and safe a form of transport. 

     

    Also rolling stock from the 1800s are still successfully in operation on some lines. They require maintenance, not replacement. There is nowt wrong with the trains, its all human error usually.

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    Accidents will always happen, for any infrastructure exposed to the environment will eventually degrade, especially infrastructure also subjected to the battering of heavy machinery.

     

    Frustratingly, 8 years after Hurricane Katrina, we still haven't gotten the cross-continental Sunset Limited passenger service re-established eastwards beyond New Orleans to the pre-disaster endpoint at Orlando, Florida.  The already rebuilt tracks will need to be re-augmented yet again...

     

    Ah well, how about some rail disaster news from two weeks ago with a "happier" ending:

     

    "The inspiring moment Japanese commuters pulled together to push 32-TON train away from platform to free woman who fell on the tracks"
     

    article-2373656-1AEFA0D3000005DC-445_634

     

    Perhaps our faith in Humanity can be restored!

     

    Then again, there is the ghoulish American version portrayed in the award-winning "Subway" episode of "Homicide:  Life on the Street," which was definitely a lot less happier.

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