Train Derailment & Clean-up
Train wrecks in Vandergrift, PA
Vandergrift Train Wreckage Site Photo.
Damaged tanker cars at the site.
Tanker Car in Kiski River.
On February 29th, 2000 a Norfolk & Southern train derailed near Vandergrift, PA. At 8:30am 22 cars of a 105 car train jumped the track.
Several cars and the loads fell into the nearby Kiski River. One flatbed car containing six steel coils and another car containing a liquid additive
used in making Spandex material and anti-freeze. Several others cars containing paper and foam products were also involved in the wreck. About 800
feet of prefabricated track section was brought in to repair the damaged areas.
Two cars containing molten sulfur (byproduct from steel mills coking processes), one car containing a glycol solution used in making spandex material, and one car
containing sugar product were damaged such that they must be unloaded on site. The damaged cars were to be cut up for scrap after cleaning. The four
damaged cars required steam for the heating coils so that the product could be heated to a liquid and unloaded.
Boiler Room Services secures emergency clean-up equipment and support services.
BRS and associated suppliers provided the trailer mounted steam boiler system and the diesel generator for power. The train derailed in a remote location that had no electricity
available. A 36 kW diesel generator set provided 480 Vac three phase and 120 Vac single phase power to the boiler plant, emergency lighting, and an operations trailer.
Two 1500 gallon water storage tanks and an additional 1500 gallon fuel oil storage tank were also brought on site to support the around-the-clock clean up.
• 200 hp Cleaver Brooks Boiler fired on #2 oil with a propane pilot
• 36 kW diesel generator
• Electrical service cables
• Propane pilot gas feed
• Chemical Treatment
• Boiler Chemicals
• Operation of the boiler plant and Training of the on-site chemical spill team
Working around-the-clock crews connected the steam boiler plant to the two molten sulfur tanker cars and the glycol to heat the product. After the glycol product
reached a temperature where it could be safely unloaded to awaiting tanker cars. After completion of the glycol transfer, the boiler pressure was raised and
continued heating the sulfur cars. The molten sulfur liquefied after heating was pumped to the new rail cars. The steam hoses from the sulfur cars, were removed and then connected to the car containing the sugar product. The tanker car was heated to liquefy the sugar product, and then unloaded to the portable vacuum trucks.
The clean-up operation moved
The equipment was packed and transported about 15 miles down the tracks to a switch yard where two full molten sulfur cars, two empty molten sulfur cars, and several other train cars that were damaged but were still able to be moved on the rail line, were moved to a more convenient area.