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Tank cars wrecked in bridge collapse in SW New Jersey


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There was a nasty accident with a bridge collapse in the greater Philadephia metro area (in Paulsboro, New Jersey) today.

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Multiple chemical tankers ended up in the water and there was a Vinyl Chloride leak.

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Local ABC News story.

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This story has the first mention I've heard of 'Conrail' in a long time.

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CNN story and local news video.

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EDIT:

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For completeness, here's the NTSB investigation website.

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The bit about the VCM (vinyl chloride monomer) is interesting - the BR safety advice was do not breathe it in - it will kill you. Apparently it smells rather like apple blossom but if you can smell enough of it to work that out then you'll be dead within minutes. It is extremely nasty stuff as chemicals go and the evacuation area for the chemical plant at Barry - where it was used - extended over a mile from the plant in all directions.

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That is listed as a swing bridge on the nautical chart for the area. http://ocsdata.ncd.n...ookletChart.pdf page 13

Yesterday, NTSB says:

Hersman said NTSB investigators are waiting to be told it's safe to conduct on-site information gathering.

Her teams will pay close attention to the locking mechanisms on the bridge, she said Sunday.

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Today, NTSB has learned that the day before the accident there were problems closing the swing bridge:

A railroad crew that wanted to cross the bridge on November 29 noticed that the bridge was 4 inches from being closed, ... The crew got the bridge to lock into place with several more attempts on a keypad that signals the bridge to close.

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The bridge is a modernized version of a very old design that seems to be unique to the Pennsylvania Railroad and was used almost exclusively in New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. It swings from one end, with the free end held up during the swing with cables from the shore at the swivel end. Youtube of the bridge is at

The Plastruct kit is for a swing bridge similar to this one. http://www.walthers....ctinfo/570-1007 The mention of Conrail in the news is correct, this is the Conrail Shared Assets Organization, which runs joint ex-CR track used by both CSX and NS in New Jersey and the Detroit, MI area.
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