Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

Post Reply
dnelson
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:45 pm

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by dnelson » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:12 am

"Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railroad, which operated the train that crashed in Quebec, subsequently went bankrupt. The railroad’s new owner, Central Maine and Quebec Railway, has yet to ship any crude through Maine, according to filings."

Pretty weak article. CMQ shipped the same oil train as Pan Am in Maine (as did EMRY), they're just not required to file since they weren't the railroad bringing it into the state. Wouldn't have hurt to mention it was just one train, not a regularly occurring thing.

KSmitty
Posts: 2037
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:29 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by KSmitty » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:18 am

newpylong wrote:Easy on all the posts. People here make an effort to post factual and well thought out items, not rants.

37,000 barrels is only around 45 tank cars. Do you count every DOT111 tank that goes by?
Don't worry about the troll. He's rambling in the nonsensical again. I'm sure he, or his buddy Randy that lies to him, counts every .111 that goes between watttttterville and nmj...
bml54 wrote:if there going from watterville-nmj that bull crap all ive seen is a few mis matched oil cars in a short freight train every so often but no oil trains.
The only oil through the state of Maine in any quantity in 2015 was a 60 car train in mid February. I obviously do not see every train, so I cannot say with certainty this is the only oil Pan Am has handled in 2015, but I believe that to be fact. "HOT 3257"'s for AllStates in Hermon are usually DOT111 tanks, and could be confused for oil cans unless you look at the placard.

KSmitty
Posts: 2037
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:29 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by KSmitty » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:54 am

dnelson wrote:Pretty weak article....Wouldn't have hurt to mention it was just one train, not a regularly occurring thing.
Lets look at some numbers.
Total killed by oil train derailments: 47 (all in Megantic).
Death by oil train/year: ~12 (if we figure the oil boom started in mid 2011 we're about 4 years into Bakken crude trains).
Total killed by grade crossing accidents in 2014: 267 according to OLS.
Gallons of crude spilled in the State of Maine: ~10 (in residual runoff from the tanks that spilled in Winn).
Gallons of lube oil spilled at Deerfield in 2014: ~20 (http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/ ... lways.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
Fluff pieces written by the BDN for sensationalism: 1

So some quick figuring suggests if you choose to live your life in fear of trains, one should be more scared of crossbucks than DOT111's. If one wishes to hug trees, one should protest engine houses, not DOT111's.

LP was completely ignored, even though it is much more prominent on Maine's rails, which makes clear the fact it was nothing more than a fluff piece of trash designed to get more reads with a catchy title. All in all, the article was a disappointment from the BDN, which I hold in higher regard than many of the other papers in the state.

newpylong
Posts: 4240
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NH

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by newpylong » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:41 pm

KSmitty wrote:
newpylong wrote:Easy on all the posts. People here make an effort to post factual and well thought out items, not rants.

37,000 barrels is only around 45 tank cars. Do you count every DOT111 tank that goes by?
Don't worry about the troll. He's rambling in the nonsensical again. I'm sure he, or his buddy Randy that lies to him, counts every .111 that goes between watttttterville and nmj...
bml54 wrote:if there going from watterville-nmj that bull crap all ive seen is a few mis matched oil cars in a short freight train every so often but no oil trains.
The only oil through the state of Maine in any quantity in 2015 was a 60 car train in mid February. I obviously do not see every train, so I cannot say with certainty this is the only oil Pan Am has handled in 2015, but I believe that to be fact. "HOT 3257"'s for AllStates in Hermon are usually DOT111 tanks, and could be confused for oil cans unless you look at the placard.
I should have said UN1267 crude as many tank cars are of the DOT111 build spec.

newpylong
Posts: 4240
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NH

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by newpylong » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:42 pm

bml54 wrote:honestly ive only seen the clay slurry cars and propane cars go by and maybe 1 or 2 dot 111 cars
Then I would say you missed a good string of them at one point.

Cowford
Posts: 2799
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 12:34 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by Cowford » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:36 pm

honestly ive only seen the clay slurry cars and propane cars go by and maybe 1 or 2 dot 111 cars
Clay slurry cars are DOT 111.

dnelson
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:45 pm

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by dnelson » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:38 pm

KSmitty wrote:
dnelson wrote:Pretty weak article....Wouldn't have hurt to mention it was just one train, not a regularly occurring thing.
Lets look at some numbers.
Total killed by oil train derailments: 47 (all in Megantic).
Death by oil train/year: ~12 (if we figure the oil boom started in mid 2011 we're about 4 years into Bakken crude trains).
Total killed by grade crossing accidents in 2014: 267 according to OLS.
Gallons of crude spilled in the State of Maine: ~10 (in residual runoff from the tanks that spilled in Winn).
Gallons of lube oil spilled at Deerfield in 2014: ~20 (http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/ ... lways.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)
Fluff pieces written by the BDN for sensationalism: 1

So some quick figuring suggests if you choose to live your life in fear of trains, one should be more scared of crossbucks than DOT111's. If one wishes to hug trees, one should protest engine houses, not DOT111's.

LP was completely ignored, even though it is much more prominent on Maine's rails, which makes clear the fact it was nothing more than a fluff piece of trash designed to get more reads with a catchy title. All in all, the article was a disappointment from the BDN, which I hold in higher regard than many of the other papers in the state.
Some strong points. I'd hesitate to compare grade crossing fatalities to Megantic, since it was a lot worse was than just the 47 deaths... an entire town was burned to the ground.

User avatar
NHV 669
Posts: 760
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: In the VT woods, between the Mt. Division and WACR

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by NHV 669 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:42 am

dnelson wrote:Some strong points. I'd hesitate to compare grade crossing fatalities to Megantic, since it was a lot worse was than just the 47 deaths... an entire town was burned to the ground.
Yeah.... grade crossing deaths aren't exactly going to require a town to rebuild its economy from scratch.
Casey

NHVT 669 sits at the south end of the "Pompy" line in White River Jct., VT on 4/29/1993. Photo by Richard Roberg.

KSmitty
Posts: 2037
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:29 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by KSmitty » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:33 pm

NHV 669 wrote:
dnelson wrote:Some strong points. I'd hesitate to compare grade crossing fatalities to Megantic, since it was a lot worse was than just the 47 deaths... an entire town was burned to the ground.
Yeah.... grade crossing deaths aren't exactly going to require a town to rebuild its economy from scratch.
Yeah, so thats a bit of a stretch. I think the broad point is solid though. The focus on, and fear of oil shipments is overdone and has many uses, in this case the BDN used it to get some extra reads. The NIMBY's use it (or LP which was initially interchangable with oil) to scare the neighbors in Portsmouth. Many uses, none really related to the overall safety of the American rail system.

The fact is trains derail and bad things happen. The fact is no economic tankcar is going to survive a Megantic type derailment with cars accordioned. As long as we continue to consume oil by the millions of gallons, we should probably accept its got to get from the ground to the gas pump somehow. I'm of the opinion I'd rather have it on the rails than in a pipe. At least when a train ruptures there is a finite amount of damage it can do. If a pipeline ruptures there is an almost infinite amount of oil that can leak, an almost infinite amount of damage that can be done, and a smaller chance the leak is quickly identified and stopped in a timely manner.

User avatar
MEC407
Posts: 10894
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:15 pm

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by MEC407 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:37 pm

The railroads need to do better in terms of track maintenance and train handling. If there's no way to build a derailment-proof oil tankcar, they just need to stop dumping them on the ground in the first place. We've seen these massive explosive derailments on all kinds of railroads ranging from shortlines to regionals to Class Ones. Something needs to be done differently if they can't keep oil trains upright.
MEC407
Moderator:
Pan Am Railways — Boston & Maine/Maine Central — Delaware & Hudson
Central Maine & Quebec/Montreal, Maine & Atlantic/Bangor & Aroostook
Providence & Worcester — New England — GE Locomotives

newpylong
Posts: 4240
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NH

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by newpylong » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:01 pm

That is like saying they need to keep airplanes from crashing. There are inherent risks in everything. If we didn't take them no one or thing would.get from point A to point B.

Bad things happen and we learn from them.

KSmitty
Posts: 2037
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:29 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by KSmitty » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:12 pm

Trains derail, just like people have heart attacks. Its unfortunate when a train of crude derails, but it is as unavoidable as the sun rising tomorrow morning. Crude derailments are higher profile, because of their high impact and visibility (and the politics that surround the issue of Bakken/Shale Oil, pipelines, etc.). They get more press, but they are no more prevalent than intermodal trains derailing. Mechanical things break. The massive weight, the uncountable interacting forces, and mother nature's input all work together. Something so simple as a cold day can pull rail apart and its all over.

If you accept the fact that it is impossible to keep every oil tank on the rails always, the only way to "guarantee" safety would be to restrict trains to 10. When, not if, they go over they don't crack open and explode. You also have to include all trains meeting oil trains since collision with another train has resulted in at least one fiery accident.

That line "you can't put a price on safety" just doesn't tread water. We do it all the time. Lightweight construction for more fuel efficiency costs vehicle safety. Consumption of foreign goods for less money in exchange for a higher likelyhood of 'unpleasant' chemicals in the products. Tradeoffs are made daily on a national and individual scale that trade efficiencies for safety. Simply put, the cost put on the railroads to 'guarantee' safe transport of crude oil would put them out of business.

But then pipelines aren't immune either. The age, they rust, they leak. They have safety valves, but those are mechanical and fail too. Pipelines are less likely to cause human death, given their more remote routes, but are just as able to do the environmental damage that a derailed crude train does.

Which was my point earlier. We cannot be scared of the things that drive our modern life. Oil is unfortunately a necessity to modern life, which means it needs to get from A to B somehow. I'm perfectly happy going to sleep within spitting distance of the tracks. If its not the oil that gets me it might be the LP. But I also know I like a warm house in the winter, and I realize the chances I get blown up are miniscule. This perspective, and a little moderation all around would do good things.

User avatar
MEC407
Posts: 10894
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:15 pm

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by MEC407 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:43 pm

Most heart attacks are preventable, and most train derailments are preventable. The day we accept these huge explosive derailments as unavoidable and just part of doing business is a sad day indeed. We used to be a nation that embraced challenges instead of just shrugging at them. :-\
MEC407
Moderator:
Pan Am Railways — Boston & Maine/Maine Central — Delaware & Hudson
Central Maine & Quebec/Montreal, Maine & Atlantic/Bangor & Aroostook
Providence & Worcester — New England — GE Locomotives

User avatar
690
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:50 am
Location: Maine

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by 690 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:07 pm

I don't think anyone is accepting them as unavoidable, but there is only so much that can be done to prevent them from happening. As other members have said, accidents happen, even with immaculate track, and other such conditions. As the saying goes, sh*t happens. Granted, the Megantic accident was especially avoidable, and there were definitely measures that were taken to prevent such a thing from happening again. But at the end of the day, there's only so much that can be done to prevent them from happening, and it comes down to chance that it won't happen (and the odds are quite good that it won't). As KSmitty said, the oil trains are higher profile, since they tend to be rather spectacular when they do derail, and explode, but there have only been a handful of accidents compared to the number of successful deliveries of unit trains.

User avatar
MEC407
Posts: 10894
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:15 pm

Re: Oil Trains (RJMA / MARJ, OI-x, etc)

Post by MEC407 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:01 am

690 wrote:I don't think anyone is accepting them as unavoidable...
I'm simply responding to my good friend KSmitty, who wrote that oil train derailments are "...as unavoidable as the sun rising tomorrow morning" and compared them to heart attacks. I respectfully disagree with those statements.
690 wrote:...but there is only so much that can be done to prevent them from happening.
We can always do more. We should strive for constant improvement. That is, or used to be, the American spirit.

I have faith that our railroads can answer these challenges. I simply question whether they have the will to try.

We should be encouraging them to do better instead of just shrugging these things off. Think of it as tough love.
MEC407
Moderator:
Pan Am Railways — Boston & Maine/Maine Central — Delaware & Hudson
Central Maine & Quebec/Montreal, Maine & Atlantic/Bangor & Aroostook
Providence & Worcester — New England — GE Locomotives

Post Reply

Return to “Pan Am Railways (formerly Guilford Rail System)”