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Discussion in 'Metal Heads' started by johnhenry, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. johnhenry

    johnhenry Guest

    i was wondering if anybody knows what tanktrains are. not your average black tanker. they're larger white tanks with GATX CN (always)
    stamps. the equipment numbers are always in sequence and the lines (that i catch twice daily) are about 80 cars long usually, and every car is inter connected by a hose (about a foot in diameter) at the top. they're frequency has been increasing (since september) recently. i live on a cn line and i was thinking maybe they carry extremely hazardous waste? anyone with knowledge please share...
  2. Cracked Ass

    Cracked Ass Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 24, 2001 Messages: 7,898 Likes Received: 47
    First off they're not "always" like you described. Those are just the ones in your area. The one I saw was black cars. Tank trains are just an easier way to ship a bulk liquid. The one I saw was a gasoline train. Tank trains are easier to load because you can just keep loading into one car and it will spill over (through the hose) into the next car, and so on, instead of moving one car into position, loading it, sealing it, moving it out of the way, and moving the next one into position. It makes sense for terminals shipping a lot to one customer. You may be able to find out what's in your tank trains if it's hazardous. Look for a small diamond-shaped card with hazmat symbols and a 4-digit number (this number should be readable several lines away). 1203 is gasoline, 1993 is diesel or fuel oil, 3082 is liquid hazardous waste, 1830 is sulfuric acid. If it's some other number, tell me on here and I'll fill you in, I know most of the common ones. Those hazmat cards with the 4-digit number are placed on all 4 sides of every tanker in the train. If it has no cards like that, the contents are not hazardous.
  3. KaBar

    KaBar Senior Member

    Joined: Oct 9, 2001 Messages: 1,397 Likes Received: 28
    Now THAT is some valuable information. As much as I hate tanker cars, I"m going to see if I can identify some contents.
    Any idea why they simply don't ship the stuff via pipeline?
  4. johnhenry

    johnhenry Guest

    thanks cracked.... when i say always i am obviously refering to my point of view. what i see, in my area, from my living room window, the comfort of my own comfy couch.
  5. another loser

    another loser Elite Member

    Joined: Jul 16, 2001 Messages: 3,011 Likes Received: 9
    well i would think that by the time you built a long pipeline to a single customer you would have spent loads more than it would cost just to put in a set of tracks beside their company (if they didnt already have them) and send tanks full of the product for them to return to you when empty.
    kinda like a soda company, why would they run a water line for soda into your house?
    i could see building a pipeline if you sold ALOT of that product, but then youd still have to buy the land for the pipeline, construction, and maintenance.
    hope i helped.
  6. nocalfr8tr

    nocalfr8tr Member

    Joined: Nov 29, 2001 Messages: 371 Likes Received: 0
    tankers are a-okay

    i like painting tankers. they look sick when they're rocked. the all black background or all white is always a positive. keep a look out for ...
    "the rail cafe". that's a tanker with some heat!
  7. greedy mars

    greedy mars Guest

  8. socks

    socks Member

    Joined: Oct 8, 2001 Messages: 503 Likes Received: 0
    some tankers transport apple juice and others canola oil.

    along sides of the numeric designations, there is usually a contents listing on the hazmat signage; if it is hazardous material.
  9. Cracked Ass

    Cracked Ass Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 24, 2001 Messages: 7,898 Likes Received: 47
    Anyone is welcome to post hazmat numbers, I'll tell you what they stand for.
    I've only ever heard of pipelines for crude oil (1267) and natural gas. It's all about cost effectiveness. I couldn't see a pipeline for gasoline because it's an end user product, which undergoes wide distribution, whereas crude oil is traveling to a limited number of destinations (a refinery, or a port where it will then be shipped to storage or a refinery). Where would a gasoline pipeline lead? It would deliver a hell of a lot more than 2 or 3 tank trains a day, and clearly the tank train customer doesn't need any more than that.
    Natural gas pipelines are similar in that they ship huge volumes from a source to a limited number of destinations (ports, tank farms).
    Pipelines are a huge infrastructure investment, so they'll only be built for the largest volumes headed for limited destinations (at which point smaller distribution vehicles come into play - trains, trucks, intermodal).
    "Natural gas" is a slight misnomer. Commercial grade liquefied petroleum gas (LP gas) is a mixture of 4 gases: propane, propylene, butane, and butylene. All of these are odorless, so a smelly compound called ethyl mercaptan is added to make leak detection faster and easier and hopefully less fatal. LP gas is 1075 on your hazmat table.
  10. KaBar

    KaBar Senior Member

    Joined: Oct 9, 2001 Messages: 1,397 Likes Received: 28
    Cracked---They do sometimes run a small pipeline from one place to another to just serve that one customer. My brother-in-law used to work for Celanese (a big petrochemical outfit) in Bayport, Texas (I think it was Bayport.) He worked in a complex that produced ethylene glycol. Anyway, he told me that the Celanese plant where he worked had a small (maybe a 2" line) direct pipeline to the Pepsi-Cola plant in South Houston, and that Celanese sent Pepsi an unuseable byproduct of ethylene glycol production that they use in making Pepsi. Celanese used to flare it (burn it in the atmosphere) until they found a customer for it. I forget the exact name of the chemical that they are selling to Pepsi, but I could probably find out if anybody really wants to know.
    The Houston area is completely criss-crossed with a bazillion pipelines and hundreds of old abandoned oil and natural gas wells. There is a natural gas pipeline that runs right past the front of two high schools and an elementary school, not three houses from where I sit typing this.
    It's sort of like "living with the Bomb." After a while you just sort of forget it's there. Down here on the Texas Gulf Coast there are pipelines running EVERYWHERE. Up north, maybe like South Dakota, it's probably a lot rarer.
  11. vinyl junkie

    vinyl junkie Elite Member

    Joined: Jan 17, 2002 Messages: 4,725 Likes Received: 0
    ethylene glycol... that's anti-freeze right? that story's a little frightening...
  12. monkeybutter

    monkeybutter New Jack

    Joined: Nov 30, 2001 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 0
    why read the signage? just try a drink.
  13. *die*

    *die* Junior Member

    Joined: Nov 5, 2001 Messages: 249 Likes Received: 0
    i never seem to see any buffed onelimagine when some mother fucker gets that shit and it's all crispy burned end to end. i wonder what goes through thier minds