Footage of toxic Ohio train's undercarriage ablaze before derailment

Originally published at: Footage of toxic Ohio train's undercarriage ablaze before derailment | Boing Boing


That’s likely a spark shower rather than actual fire, but was likely involved in the accident for sure. Brakes do occasionally lock-up on trucks (or bogeys as the Brits would call them) that aren’t properly maintained. Like air brakes on road vehicles, the air pressure is required to release them so they fail in the locked up state as a fail-safe condition. However that also means if something goes wrong with an air line, as may have happened here, the wheels may be locked up for many miles before anyone notices. Then when that truck is called upon to make a corner, those wheels may be so badly damaged that they cannot, and off goes the car, taking the rest of the train with it.

Modern railroads do have sensors and other methods for detecting these sorts of issues, but they don’t always catch things in time.


Chalk up more needless deaths to the MAGA cult.

So there’s a very weird coincidence I really see being mentioned much. It’s no more than a coincidence, but damn bizarre.

The White Noise film was partially filmed in East Lebanon with many of the displaced families working as extras. They’ve tried to return home and resume their normal lives.

ETA: Ah, I didn’t catch @milliefink’s subtle reference. Nice!


I hope my post didn’t sound like it was defending poor maintenance practices on the railroads. That was definitely not my intent. The railroads are under-regulated and have a long history of dodging maintenance, no question.


No, I didn’t get that at all. I had just read that Wonkette post recently and it seemed relevant. I doubt anyone would assume that you would advocate for lax maintenance practices. :wink:


Adding to your last paragraph… those sensors are on the rails, not the train - so detection time depends on how many they put on the tracks.


I expect that an inspection of the last defect detector that the train went over will be part of the NTSB report when it is issued.


I heard that an alarm was triggered about the temps of an axle, but it was unclear if that was nearer the derailment site, or the sensor ~20miles before that.

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Yep for sure. There are some temperature monitoring systems as well. Not sure how wide spread they are, but some roads have experimented with thermal imaging of wheels as they go by to detect overheating bearings and brakes.

As mentioned in your linked article, the way this kind of thing used to be detected was the venerable caboose. A real human being keeping an eye on the train from the rear would absolutely have spotted this problem immediately. Sadly cabooses were replaced long ago with a “train end device” which ranges from a small radio transmitter to literally a red rag hanging on the coupler. A sad end to the noble caboose.


Trump, speaking about his position on railroad and other transport safety regulations in 2018:


Hi Karlos…


It got burnt in the fire. :man_shrugging:


Look at chemical spilled, “Vinyl Chloride”, is there an s in there? No? So there can’t be an /s tag. Study it out!



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