Friday, November 09, 2007

Train drailment in Washington DC




A train with coal cars has derailed in Washington DC, crossing the Anacostia River, near RFK Stadium where the Nationals played baseball from 2005-2007. The train was moving slowly and this appears to be an accident related to aging of old track, bridges or equipment.

Media reports suggest that a CSW employee failed to set a brake properly and that the train cars rolled by gravity onto a supposedly closed bridge.

NBC4 in Washington has a number of pictures and videos from here. Police are not allowing civilians into the immediate area for pictures.

The obvious question is, what if the cargo had been truly hazardous (like chlorine or similar toxin). DC officials have been concerned about the transport of hazardous materials on rail lines through the City from Virginia going north (in tracks that run near the Mall and Union Station). Such materials could cause a "mega-disaster."

The closest I could get (Sunday morning) for pictures was at Anacostia Ave NE near Benning Rd. One can see it driving the Sousa Bridge on Pennsylvania Ave, but one cannot stop and park, and there are no side streets in the area (you get right on I-295). The river bed has a lot of ugly and dangerous waste everywhere, as one of the pictures shows.

On August 1, 2007 a major interstate highway bridge collapsed in Minneapolis.

Update:

On Saturday morning, Nov. 24, a freight train derailed in downtown Baltimore near the Ravens stadium. No leakages were reported. NBC4 story here. Expect the TV station to supply photos shortly.

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