Re: tank cars behind locomotives

John Larkin

I think you have to remember that there are differing grades of crude oil.  The Canadian oil train disaster happened in part because the shipper didn't let the railroads know that the North Dakota crude is different in nature from most heavier crude oils.  Among other things there is more methane in it, along with some other readily flammable chemicals (can't remember the names) that make it much more volatile than normal crude oil.

I may easily be mistaken but I don't recall seeing mention of crude oil tank cars blowing up in prior years the way the current Brakken oil does.

John Larkin

On Wednesday, February 4, 2015 2:34 PM, "Tony Thompson tony@... [STMFC]" wrote:

Ed Mines wrote:

There are little to no fumes from crude oil and although it burns, it's not so easy to set on fire.

    Depends on the crude, of course, and some crude is indeed tarry and heavy. But remember, the gasoline and other fractions which are later extracted from the crude ARE in there in the beginning. Most crude oils are quite flammable. Remember the crude oil fire disaster in Canada recently?

From this forum I've learned that the fuel oil used in steam locomotives is even more difficult to set on fire.
  True. Bunker C is really goopy stuff.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
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