Category Archives: Liquid propane gas

LATEST DERAILMENTS: 2 in Selkirk NY in a week, another same day in Selkirk, Manitoba

Repost from the Times-Union, Albany, NY
[Editor:  This June 29 derailment in the Selkirk Railroad Yard, Selkirk, NY (just south of Albany) should not be confused with derailment on the same day in Selkirk, Manitoba.  MORE IMPORTANTLY, this derailment should not be confused with another more serious derailment in the same Selkirk NY rail yard less than a week earlier, on June 24, involving six tanker cars — three of them filled with liquid propane . See also TWCnews, “SecondTrain Derailment in a Week.”  – RS]

Selkirk yard derailment minor, but concerns linger

Cars remain upright, but County Executive McCoy concerned about repeated incidents
Staff reports, June 30, 2016, 9:00 pm

TWC_Selkirk2ndDerailment2016-06-29No major problems resulted from a derailment of cars carrying petroleum gas Wednesday, but that didn’t appear to settle Albany County Executive Dan McCoy’s queasiness over such incidents.

“Those cars remained upright, but I have said it is just a matter of time before something serious, even deadly, could happen, due to the volume of trains transporting crude oil and other flammable and hazardous materials through our backyards, neighborhoods and right along the Hudson River,” he said in a statement.

McCoy renewed his call for stricter standards on rail lines and equipment in a press release sent out Wednesday evening — one that also included a list of several safety actions and recommendations he called for in 2014 and 2015.

Two cars containing the gas left the tracks at the Selkirk Rail Yard on Wednesday afternoon, according to McCoy’s office.

No leaks or spills were reported, and the cars remained upright. There also were no injuries, according to officials with CSX Corp., which owns the rail yard.

“The exact cause of the incident is still under review,” said Rob Doolittle, communications director for CSX’s Northeast Region. “I can say that CSX takes every derailment seriously. We review the cause to see if there are lessons we can learn to apply to prevent them from happening in the future.”

It took about five hours for rail crews to put the tankers back on the tracks, but since they derailed in the area where trains are assembled, it didn’t affect freight traffic, Doolittle said

Six cars, three carrying liquefied petroleum gas, derailed at the rail yard last week, though none leaked. The cars remained upright. Doolittle said the cause of that derailment also is under review. Investigations typically take several weeks to complete, he said.

Train Carrying LPG Derails in West Virginia

Repost from Natural Gas Intelligence / Shale Daily

Train Carrying LPG Derails in West Virginia

Jamison Cocklin,  December 28, 2015

A CSX Corp. train carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) derailed early last Thursday in Wetzel County, WV, but no injuries or propane leaks were reported.

Six cars went off the tracks at a rail yard in New Martinsville, about 50 miles south of Wheeling, and four tipped over, CSX said. The cars were not damaged, but it remains unclear what caused the derailment. Both CSX and the Federal Railroad Administration are expected to investigate the cause. First responders said the incident did not affect nearby neighborhoods.

The incident occurred at about 2:45 a.m. EST and forced the company to shut down the stretch of tracks. Public safety officials said no gas leaks were discovered and added that the cars had a double steel casing that likely prevented any leaks.

LPG deliveries via rail in the region have increased with the rise in natural gas liquids production from the Appalachian Basin. Earlier this year, a 109-car CSX train carrying Bakken Shale crude oil derailed in the Mount Carbon area of West Virginia, about 35 miles southeast of Charleston. No injuries were reported, but about 19 rail cars exploded after they derailed (see Shale Daily, Feb. 20).

Feds: Broken spike caused Vandergrift derailment, oil spill

Repost from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Feds: Broken spike caused Vandergrift derailment, oil spill

By Mary Ann Thomas, June 20, 2014
Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch | A Norfolk Southern worker walks past damage from a derailed train next to the MSI Corporation building along First Avenue in Vandergrift on Thursday, on Feb. 13, 2014.

A broken railroad spike likely caused a Feb. 13 train derailment and crude oil spill in Vandergrift.

Federal investigators said the broken spike allowed the track to spread, becoming too wide for the Norfolk Southern train to pass safely.

Mike England, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration, confirmed the cause.

The investigation of the Vandergrift derailment was completed recently by the railroad agency and its report was obtained by the Valley News Dispatch through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Broken spikes do cause train derailments on occasion, England said.

No violations were reported during the federal review, and the investigation is closed, he said.

“Just because there is an accident, it doesn’t mean that the railroad did anything wrong,” England said

Dave Pidgeon, a spokesman for Norfolk Southern, said he had nothing to add to the investigators’ report.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey said the nation and industry must learn from rail accidents.

“The derailment in Vander-grift and others across the state should serve as a wake-up call that we need to improve rail safety,” he said in a statement on Friday.

“Dependable rail travel is vitally important to Pennsylvania’s economy and critical to the safety of the millions of Americans who live near rail lines. I will continue to push for improvements to prevent future derailments,” Casey said.

“Among other measures, it is imperative that the Federal Railroad Administration has the resources it needs to hire rail inspectors to prevent this from happening again,” he said.

Report details

According to the report, two trains used the Vandergrift track hours before the derailment without incident.

No injuries were reported among the engineer, locomotive engineer trainee and conductor on board the derailed train. Three MSI Corp. employees were evacuated when one of the rail cars went through the wall of a company building near the tracks.

The first car to derail was the 67th car in the train of 112 loaded cars and seven empty cars. The 67th through 88th cars derailed, including 19 loaded with crude oil and two with liquid propane gas.

The train originated in Conway, Pa., and was on its way to Harrisburg and points east.

After the derailment, the railroad “did a fair amount” of work on tracks in the accident area, where train traffic has resumed, Pidgeon said.

The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration this year determined the Vandergrift derailment to be the 14th most significant involving crude oil or ethanol in the past eight years. That report stated that 10,000 gallons of oil spilled in the Vandergrift derailment.

In contrast, the Federal Railroad Administration report states that only 4,310 gallons of heavy crude oil was released.

Damage to equipment in the accident is estimated at $1.76 million, according to the report.

In addition, about $240,000 in damage was caused to the track and $30,000 to a signal.