Handling hazmat cars

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by hubba90bubba, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. hubba90bubba

    hubba90bubba New Member

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    I’ve read that if you have hazmat cars in a train, you should put them a few cars away from the engines and the caboose. I’m wondering if the same rule applies when you switch hazmat cars in a yard, or when you’re setting them out or picking them up at an industry? If the rule applies all the time, I think it would be an interesting factor to consider when you're switching on your model railroad.

    I’m also wondering if you now a day, when you usually don’t use cabooses, can you put hazmat cars at the end of a train or are there some other rule/policy that forbids that?

    /Mattias
  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    It definatly adds an extra few switching steps to adding or dropping the cars to sidings. It's one more car to worry about - especially when you have short (Industrial) sidings. :)

    Adds a bit of realism to the operations to a layout too :) :)

    As far as the actual rules - someone else will have to help you on that....
  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    Mattias,I have seen yard engines coupled on to hazmat cars during yard work..I have seen locals set out hazmat cars and there is usually 1 or 2 cars between the loads and engine(s).I have seen loaded hazmat cars carrying the fred.
  4. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    An interesting contemporary issue that makes operations even more challening and fun!
    Ralph
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    I think the rule might be suspended during the slower speed switching moves.
    There are extra conditions imposed when dealing with multiple types of hazmat in a train. I think poisonous gases and flammable ones have to be separated.
  6. hubba90bubba

    hubba90bubba New Member

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    So it’s not an absolute rule (at least in practice), but it’s preferred to put the hazmat a few cars away. I’m wondering if the guys working in house switchers at industries only handling hazmat cars would you use idler cars/empty cars, or if they don’t bother only switching with the hazmat cars.

    David, interesting about the needs to separate the poisonous gases and the flammable ones. One more thing to keep in mind when switching.

    Another thing, are the cars only considered hazmat cars when loaded, or dose it applies to empty but not cleaned cars as well?

    /Mattias
  7. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Here's a cool modeler's site I just found that includes probably more information about hazmat issues than you need but take a look! Scroll down to the picture of hazmat placards on the right side of the page and click on it to get rules and other information about how hazmat cars should be handled apparently according to NORAC rules and this modeler's preferences.

    http://www.railroad.net/articles/columns/alongtheline/njdiv5/index.php

    Ralph
  8. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

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    On road trains a loaded hazmat should be no futher than 6 cars from the head end or occupied caboose and not next to shiftable loads. An empty hazmat can be 2 cars from the head end.
  9. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

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    Yeah, Matt has a real nice layout. It was featured in the 2006 Great Model Railroads

    Hazmat placement chart from Matt's website.


    http://www.railroad.net/articles/columns/alongtheline/njdiv5/media/snell-hazmatcard6.jpg
  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    One of our members posted a full list of the placards and the associated chemicals several years ago. Not sure where it went.
    Some chemicals are more of a risk when the tank is empty (almost) and contains lots of air along with the leftover chemical.
  11. hubba90bubba

    hubba90bubba New Member

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    Thanks for the tip of the webside. Looks like interesting reading, and not just about hazmat.

    /Mattias
  12. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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    Of course, for modelling, you may have to reduce these spacings - your trains may not be long enough!
  13. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    I don't know how they put it together, but there's not a lot of space between the engine and the caboose and this load of spent nuclear fuel:

    [​IMG]

    Of course, it was a dedicated move, so there may be other rules for that.
  14. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

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    I would pass on the nuke train. Especially without spacer cars.
  15. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    With a nuclear spill it wouldn't matter anyway..You would end up glowing green after dark anyway as the saying goes.:(