I’m not sure if you all are aware of the little Bhopal disaster we have going on here in my neck of the woods up in East Palestine, Ohio, but if you are not, you can hardly be blamed. The media is barely covering it and it’s actually fucking flabbergasting. Most of the information I have seen has come from twitter and tiktok.
At any rate, about fifty miles from mere as the crow flies, up in East Palestine, Ohio, a Norfolk Souther train derailed last week. Here’s a handy map showing where I live and where the accident occurred:
The trains were carrying a load of toxic chemicals that are dangerous in their own right, but when on fire, are basically the gas used in WW1 in trench warfare. Don’t take my word on it, here are a bunch of nerds at Chemical and Engineering News breaking it down for you:
An evacuation order issued following the derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying vinyl chloride in Ohio was lifted Feb. 8 after state and federal authorities determined that air and water quality were safe for residents to return to their homes. But questions remain about the safety of transporting the hazardous chemical.
People living near the accident, which occurred Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio, a town of about 4,700 residents on the Pennsylvania border, began leaving immediately as a column of black smoke rose over town. In an effort to avoid an explosion, railroad and state authorities began a controlled release and burn of the vinyl chloride Feb. 6. Earlier that day, the governors of Ohio and Pennsylvania ordered an immediate evacuation of a 1- by 2-mile area that crossed the state line.
In all, about 50 cars—20 of which were carrying hazardous materials—left the tracks in the accident. Of most concern were the 5 carrying vinyl chloride. In a statement announcing the evacuation order, Ohio governor Mike DeWine warned that people closest to the derailment faced “grave danger of death.”
While vinyl chloride itself is a carcinogen, the burning of the chemical, which releases hydrogen chloride and phosgene, can be immediately lethal. Phosgene, a highly toxic, colorless gas with a strong odor, was notoriously used as a weapon during World War I.
It’s bad. There were evacuations, but they were too little too late, Norfolk Southern and Gov. DeWine are assuring people it is safe now and the water is fine, but it’s not. And to prove their transparency, they arrested the only national reporter covering the press conference:
A NewsNation correspondent was arrested on Wednesday after he began reporting live during a news conference held by Ohio authorities regarding a train derailment – an incident police said involved a confrontation between him and a National Guard official after he was told to stop speaking during the governor’s remarks.
Law enforcement officers interrupted NewsNation correspondent Evan Lambert as he broadcast from the event, where authorities announced they were lifting a multiday evacuation order near the site of a fiery weekend derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
An argument then broke out between Lambert and Harris, who pushed the reporter away from him as Lambert was approaching Harris “in an aggressive manner,” police said.
After Harris reported the interaction to law enforcement, officers told Lambert he needed to leave the building because the situation had “evolved into a physical confrontation and required law enforcement intervention,” police said. After Lambert refused, the officers tried to de-escalate by asking him to step outside to talk, but Lambert did not, police said.
The reporter was then advised he was under arrest and escorted out of the building, at which time he tried to pull away, according to police.
This is, of course, bullshit coverage. An argument didn’t break out. A fucking cop and a meathead in the National Guard came and told him he was not allowed to do his job and then they arrested him.
At any rate, a direct line can be traced from this disaster to the policies of Norfolk Southern, which, conveniently, is majority owned by hedge funds (Vanguard, Blackrock, JP Morgan, etc), who have slashed maintenance, slashed crews, and done all the usual shit to maximize profits. This is exactly what rail workers were protesting last summer that… got shut down by congress.
@nipplebottomjeans #stitch with @pearlmania500 #fyp #news #environment #pa #trains #ohio ♬ original sound – Thoms
I don’t understand the sudden usage of Chinese malware on this site recently….
Anyway, yeah. There’s a bunch of causes for this derailment, but I’m gonna defer to Grumpy Old Railroader (once he shows up) for clarification over 20 year old blabbing on TikTok. But if I lived in East Palestine right now I wouldn’t be going back for awhile.
Here’s a good story on this. Turns out the axle was on fire twenty miles before the derailment and it was detected by sensors
Scroll down and read the next story too about the effect on the town and neighboring towns. Pretty horrific.
Yeah, it’s exactly this kind of ‘cut it to the bone so the shareholders can feast on the marrow’ bullshit that our current Government and a fair chunk of the next Government would love to foist on British train workers, which is one of the reasons they’re on strike over here. Solidarity, comrades.
Also, very odd to see East Liverpool there nestling like a hungry chick under the wing of Calcutta. Just up the road from Toronto, Amsterdam, Lisbon and what looks like a town entirely populated by people who could fix your car if they weren’t on lunch.
I’ve been trying to figure out what’s going on and it’s so hard with the lack of any real coverage and what I do see all being from my leftist conspiracy theorists friends who are just using this as a cudgel to beat up the Biden administration…
Derek Lowe on phosgene and other WW1 poison gases.
Same here. Lots of unsupported declarations like the one John is repeating that this could have been prevented of the rail workers were allowed to go on strike.
I usually try to go easy on the ol’ corporate media suppression thing. But this sprawling toxic disaster makes a strong case.
Doesn’t help that it’s a GOP polyfecta state (just made that up – but they have the gov, both chambers, and A.G. and S.O.S.), so there’s precious little hippie-punching to do in blaming elected officials, so that further disincents the shit-awful media.
And of course decades-long potential cancer-cluster? Yaaa-wwwwn. Where’s the pathos in that?
Sorry to be so cynical. I am outraged, and have done what little I can on Muskker to amplify local Ohio voices who are trying to increase attention and coverage.
No worries. All you have to do is sprinkle in some sodium in there, the vinyls will trickle right out.
My sister and BIL live in New Galilee, PA, just west of Darlington, PA. This was just a few miles from their house. They packed their bags, grabbed their pups and went to New Castle to stay with their daughter and SIL. They weren’t under evacuation orders but they knew the authorities were full of shit.
I have a veteran student who lives in East Palestine. He’s been staying in our dorm with another adult student who had a single room. He says he’s staying for another few weeks, maybe the rest of the semester.
That ghosty video is…something.
An EPA summary for vinyl chloride can be found here. Sciency language for “bad shit.”
Half a mile away is a large train yard that often has tanker cars on the siding, stretching from horizon to horizon. My hobby is reading and translating the UN placard numbers. Often interesting, but sometimes so generic you can’t really know if there’s fifty cars of Bakken crude sitting around.
I don’t get it. I’m more than halfway through the video – why are they letting some people in with cameras, being very polite, and then they did this crap to the first guy?
hells littlest angel
It’s not being reported in the news media. It’s barely being reported anywhere.
@Tony Jay: How ironic is it that East Liverpool is so west of Liverpool. Everton’s summer training ground?
Interesting that there are towns named after Palestine and Calcutta
ETA: I see TJ already covered the geography.
Not super relevant to the discussion, but every time I hear this on the news (which has been rare) they are pronouncing the town as East Pal-eh-steen, rather than pal-uh-styn (the way the country is pronounced). Is there some reason for this? Is this similar to Bueno Vista, which is pronounced nothing like the Spanish words for good view?
Which video are you referring to? The top one or the TikTok?
Not sure why I would want to watch a TikTok video from someone named nipplebottomjeans. ???
@ian: There are many instances of the locals not adopting the traditional pronunciation of a spelling. I don’t know what’s correct here.
Thanks for this. I’ve heard reporting about it on the big NPR shows (Morning Edition, All Things Considered). :-(
Unless I’m missing something, Vanguard is not a “hedge fund”. It’s a giant mutual fund (with $8T or so in assets). Much of it is in things like various S&P 500, etc., duplicating funds. NSC is #241 or so in the S&P 500.
Anybody who owns an S&P500 (or similar) mutual fund (indirectly) owns a piece of NSC as a consequence of them being a large US corporation.
@WaterGirl: The surveillance video embedded in the Post-Gazette article.
Train can be heard but not seen in the background, then suddenly the flaming car appears from the dark.
@trollhattan: That explains it, thank you!
Sounds like Norfok Southern is carrying on in the tradition of Norfolk railroad founder Collis Huntington, perhaps the most hated “Robber Baron” of the 19th century.
Huntington West Virginia was named after him.
Better than watching Chuck Todd, I guess.
Have a brother and sister living in Grove City PA, so they are likely to be downwind being NE. I remember phosgene being a topic in my OrgChem class. Some really nasty shit.
@Baud: It appears to be a video of a bathroom, totally unrelated to this story. ????
I have lived close by all my life and that’s just how it’s always been pronounced. Kind of like DuBois, PA, which is pronounced do-boys, not du- bwa.
@WaterGirl: The linked article provides some more detail, but it’s a bunch of bullshit. The reporter was doing a live broadcast during the news conference, and the governor (unexpectedly, I think) showed up. Apparently, the reporter might have kept speaking at first when the governor started his remarks, and they asked him to stop the broadcast because it was disruptive. Then it just says that “an argument broke out” between the reporter and one of the National Guard guys, which eventually led to the scenes in the video. But it’s not clear what the argument was, because the article also says:
So like…he said maybe a dozen words or so, ending the live coverage, and yet they still told him to leave, and he wanted to stay to be able to report on the full presser. So…it’s very odd.
Sword of Damocles
It was covered extensively here in Pittsburgh. Print and local news.
@Alison Rose: Jackbooted thugs.
The police need to step back.
@Sword of Damocles: What are they saying in the coverage in Pittsburgh?
just watched a local TV news update with the Mayor. key takeaway: the local Fire Department has ruined all their chemical response gear and are taking hand-me-downs from other FDs. just rage inducing that the responsible Railroad Company isn’t in town writing a huge check to re-supply the Fire Department and all the other Emergency Response teams…fingers crossed there isn’t another derailment before they can get proper FD gear again!! *gah
I really like the,”No Guns Allowed,” decal on the front door.
@Geminid: We learned after Union Pacific acquired Southern Pacific, that “not all railroads are alike.” SP turned out to have been a much better run shop, so clearly needed to go.
UGHHHHH. Makes me feel really leery of being this close.
Collis Huntington owned a big chunk of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, not the Norfolk and Western.
@WaterGirl: Sounds like the police had a bad case of “You Must Respect My Authoritah!”
Official return announcement
Possible avenue for help to those affected.
@Tony Jay: Yeah. I grew up in East Liverpool and have family in East Palestine. Area has been dumped on for a looong time.
@trollhattan: When East Liverpool was named there was previously a town on the western side of Ohio named Liverpool. So it was “east” of “Liverpool.” Town was settled by English potters. Was the first community every to utilize natural gas for home and commercial purposes.
A few things to add:
Norfolk Southern is fined for a safety infraction about every 5 days. Safety infractions are the currency on which railroads (not to mention a lot of other companies) operate, and they do it because it’s still profitable to do so despite the fine.
There’s about five train derailments every day. A lot of these are minor. The vast majority don’t cause injuries. But it’s a LOT.
There’s an argument that the lack of investment in rail workers by the railroads is the reason for this. And it certainly is a big contributing factor. But the railroads have been failing to maintain infrastructure for more than a century now. The US rail infrastructure is abominable. Some of this is deliberate – want to block Amtrak’s mandate for right of way under federal law? Well, keep the tracks below the standard needed for passenger rail, and just take the economic hit when you derail a train in Tehachapi.
These aren’t covered because there are so goddamn many of them. And this one isn’t really being covered because it flies in the face of the narrative of a month ago that the world would end if the railroad strike wasn’t averted, the embarrassment to that narrative when the railroads posted profits higher then their total labor outlay for the quarter, and now the ritual bombing of small towns resulting from disinvestment in infrastructure and equipment.
And yeah, the local cops are going to protect the local industry even when that industry might kill the local residents. Anyone in a union from the 1870s to the 1920s knew how that went.
@RepubAnon: Seems like 95% of the police these days have a bad case of not understanding the phrase:
The EPA has a Response page that they are seemingly continuing to update.
Looking at the Safety Data Sheet for Vinyl Chloride the hazard they keep mentioning over and over again is risk of fire.
Health Hazards: 2
Flammability: 4 (same as methane (natural gas) and gasoline)
Physical Hazards: 2
Burning it off was probably the safest course. (But I’m no expert.)
Chemical spills and fires are dangerous and disruptive and more. NSC needs to pay for the damage and more, and have sufficient oversight so that it doesn’t happen again.
Hang in there.
West of the Rockies
This is essentially the plot of Super 8. Are you sure there’s not an alien rebuilding its spaceship and eating townsfolk?
(Not exactly a wide choice of ditties which include the word phosgene.)
Such a nice chemical to be around. Our world is made up any more of chemicals that we regard as vital and many of them can be very, very, deadly. Vinyl chloride is one of them, is used in the manufacture of PVC. You know all that plastic pipe and so on that we depend on any more. The dangers have been covered above but the people that defund everything to make even more money need to be made to pay for shit like this. I worked some of my life around dangerous machines and sometimes dangerous materials.
One can not take safety for granted or take it away for profit.
And yet it is done every day by the financial gods who decide how much they and their paymasters/customers make and spend and the rest of us often pay a horrible price for their fuckups and greed. If we don’t fix this it will take down this country. We are a democracy, or at least we are supposed to be one but the financial gods stuffing their own pockets, with far, far more money than anyone has any rational reason for is killing all of us and paying a national political party to make it far worse for everyone else but themselves.
@WaterGirl: It ought to have an asterisk and fine print underneath that says *Offer not necessarily available to all customers
@NotMax: Not this?
@Baud: Nod nod. c.f. Cairo (Kay-ro) in IL. I live in Des Plaines (Dez Plains) IL. Go figure.
@Alison Rose: Government entities do not have customers.
Too raucous for these old aural orifices.
@trollhattan: They’re all terrible. I can say a few good things about BNSF now that Amtrak in California doesn’t get delayed by half a day, but it’ll never shake my view that the federal government needs to nationalize the right of ways and rails, and let the railroads lease access and compete, where the consequences of a safety accident can’t be buried in their own P&L and instead has to be paid out to other parties in a public way.
They understand it, all right. They understand that it’s the powers that be whom they serve and protect, not citizens. And so far as I’m aware, the US has no historical periods in which things were different. It’s nothing new.
When they approved the F-22 project I bet they did not have “balloon huntin'” high on the mission priority list.
“Why is Joe Brandon so distracted by balloons we no longer care about since last weekend?”
The balloon thing is so weird.
@Mallard Filmore: Thank you for the correction. Now I see that Huntington’s C&O was folded into CSX.
Oh, well, I got the Huntington, West Virginia part right. I think.
Folks been complaining about inflation.
@zzyzx: I’m personally not beating up anyone, but the railroad strike was about adequate staffing, among other stuff (sick leave, pay increases).
Burning it off is likely the least worst thing possible. I say it that because worst is the only possibility. Burning it is bad, leaving it to clean up would be worse, with contamination making the land and water for miles around unlivable/unusable.
I was googling train derailments and there was one in Germany where they burned off propane for the same reason.
@ChrisSherbak: I used to live next to Des Plaines! I also used to live next to Papillion, (Pa-PILL-yun) NE. I suppose it would be unrealistic to get folks to give that the full French treatment, but you’d think they could’ve at least got as close as “Pappy-on”. Ah well.
@John Cole: that wasn’t my comment. That was a reply to me.
My reaction is more that the media isn’t covering it and the people I see doing so (not you in this case) are ones who tend to exaggerate issues, so I’m having trouble figuring out if this is something that could have been really bad but was just regular bad, something that is really bad, and something that is incredibly awful.
Bethany, WV? Now why is that ringing bells in my head? Quick wiki check: aha, it’s where my frat was founded.
@pluky: Which one? Mine was founded there as well. DTD
Off topic, but this appears to be the active thread.
After the immersion in Burt Bacharach’s music this week, here is the song that has stuck with me as a pleasant earworm: Jerry Butler, “Make It Easy on Yourself.”
Odie Hugh Manatee
I have a BIL who is an engineer for BNSF and I can tell you that John is right that the rail companies have cut rail crews to the bare bone. They want to operate the trains with only an engineer and would be happiest if they could operate the trains without anyone at all on board.
Oh they understand the phrase just fine.
It’s WHO they serve and protect that is the fucking problem.
@ian: I won’t generalize but I’ve come across a similar thing in Illinois. Cairo is pronounced KAY-roh and San Jose is pronounced “San Joe’s”.
@Leslie: I don’t think it’s always been this bad. All the military cosplay with their uniforms and their hand-me-down military equipment is not helping.
Here’s some track on the other side of the state from East Palestine.
Not wanting to pay workers is hardly their only sin. Railroads have a really fucked up measure of performance that goes back a solid century, and that is profit margin above all else. Maximize revenue and minimize cost (ok, nothing new there) even if that means turning down shipping business that is profitable, but has higher costs. They’d rather have higher margins than more profits, which is a wild concept. I can’t think of a single other industry that would trade it that way. And they have no concern over pissing off customers because none of them actually compete – they’re all effectively regional monopolies because they own their right of way.
If the last 2 months wasn’t enough to change things, it’ll never change under the current set of rules. It’ll just get worse.
@Baud: Do you reckon they’re just fucking with us now? And perhaps not just China but possibly N Korea and Russia getting in on the fun.
@Odie Hugh Manatee: Sounds terrifying and I expect trucking companies would like to eliminate the driver, as well.
Which can only go splendidly.
@Omnes Omnibus: Well. It was meant as a joke.
@Alison Rose: You have your triggers. I have mine. Government as a business is one.
@Omnes Omnibus: When I worked at a public utility, the public was referred to as ratepayers.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@trollhattan: I just watched a clip of a retired Lt Col saying the thing over Alaska could well have been a weather balloon. We’ve apparently turned our surveillance abilities up, per Juliette Kayyam. Cnn videos because I’m very tired so that’s what I clicked on. Adding: Kayyam raises the possibility these could be private… whatevers, which is interesting. And the pilots chasing the Alaskan object (I gather Schumer said it was a balloon?) said they could see no means of propulsio
ETA: from yesterday
It’s bad, it’s going to be bad, but it could have been worse.
Long term there will be persistent and ongoing health issues amongst residents.
@ChrisSherbak: How did I forget about Dez Plains?
@Baud: And mayonnaise.
Doesn’t seem like enough time has passed since the first balloon to implement such a plan. Who knows?
@Martin: JFC. If I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t believe a train could get over tracks like that. In fact I’m STILL not sure I believe it.
@trollhattan: I think this stuff has always been flying overhead, but Fox News freaked half the country the fuck out so now we need to shoot down every seagull and weather balloon that doesn’t have an IFF.
We never cared about it before because it wasn’t a risk. It’s still not a risk but Oceania is at war with Eastasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
My father worked in a factory that made phosgene, among other nasty things. I worked one summer in a basement lab. Lore had it that by the time you smell phosgene you were fatally exposed. We had a leak of anhydrous ammonia that caused an evacuation and a dropped high pressure tank of some gas that broke the valve off. The 200 pound tank went flying off in the underground tunnel, concrete lined. Better living through chemistry!
Saw this yesterday, didn’t realize it was in your area though.
Also watched White Noise not too long ago.
Since it happened, I’ve been horrified by and following this in the Washington Post and (for only the first three days) the Portland (Maine) Press Herald. “Controlled release” sounds like a bit of an overly optimistic term.
Wombat Probability Cloud
Additional science-fiction-worthy cloud photos over at the Great Orange Satan.
@eclare: WE still do are although sometimes we also call them customers.
Transcription of unknown website via reddit.
@Eric S.: There’s a town in the Florida panhandle (read: “Lower Alabama”) named Ponce De Leon, pronounced by the locals exactly as it is spelled, including the English ‘Leon’. Not the way one might say the name of the Spanish explorer the place is named after.
Airborne Toxic Event
@John Revolta: The state of US rail is horrendous. That’s an extreme example, but none of it is good. The US doesn’t lack high speed rail because the country is too sparse or whatever, it’s because we turned over our right of ways to a bunch of people who are going to test the very limit of what they can get away with under capitalism, and we are powerless to stop them. The entire nations rail infrastructure other than the northeast corridor, and a bunch of commuter rail around the country would be considered completely unusable anywhere in Europe. This is why CA high speed rail is so expensive – we can’t rely on any existing right of way, so we’re buying all new right of way, ⅔ the length of California at tremendous cost so we can lay 220 MPH track.
As I understand it, it’s an accurate term and it prevented a massive fire from becoming a massive explosion. But I’m only loosely following this.
@Jay: Like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waverly,_Tennessee,_tank_car_explosion
My wife was one of the first on the scene of that.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist
More than you ever wanted to know about how international law applies to balloon flights.
@OldDave: I go through there on my way to the beach.
I trained as a Chemical Engineer. My design project was modelling part of the manufacturing process of Vinyl Chloride Monomer. By a spooky coincidence the site I travelled to from the university was East of Liverpool (UK) at a ICI Runcorn ( Hi Tony J!). It’s nasty stuff, a controlled burn and evacuation downwind is probably .the least worst option. I shudder at the thought of rail cars full of it in the ground water
@Omnes Omnibus: Yep. Delta Tau Delta, Beta Omicron ’81
@WaterGirl: no. They know, and they have legally argued they have no duty to do either. They’ve won those arguments too.
I heard about it via @[email protected] on Mastodon, one of THE best posters on the platform.
@pluky: Delta Nu, ’86.
Heard about what?
@Martin: all of this. Tons of high altitude balloons are released all the time all over the world for a variety of research reasons. No one cared if any were spy ones as what you get from balloons isn’t really overly valuable than any other type of “surveillance”.
but we had to have a freak out out and the village mediots wanted something to go after biden for and the gop kicked teh soccer ball so here they are all chasing it
@Edmund Dantes: Except these were not at high altitude. The first three were well within the service ceiling of commercial aircraft. And if you plan on flying in that range – or passing through it to truly high altitude – you’re required to notify the FAA.
@Ryan: should be plenty of sodium available. I’m guessing that train and its contents cane from either a PPG or Bayer chemical plant both of which are located nearby in Natrium, West Virginia. I grew up there.
As someone who lived through something a bit similar, in a position of responsibility, I can attest first-hand that the railroad is essentially sovereign.
In my case, things worked out well mainly because the release was minimal.
I’m both unsurprised and saddened that the outcome now in Ohio leaves a lot of people harmed without help.
Sure they do: 535 of them.
@pluky: geez that makes three of us, Gamma Omega ’81 North Carolina @ Chapel Hill
See Ne-VAY-da Iowa and MAY-drid Fault
@Jim Appleton: Jim, if you’re up for writing something up, I think we would all appreciate hearing from someone we know, who has some experience!
Berlin, Ohio, is BURR-lynn, and Gallipolis is galley-police.
They’re okay for the moment, they saved enough money by eliminating brakes.
James E Powell
@Sword of Damocles:
@hells littlest angel:
It will be a huge national story once the Republicans settle on a narrative that blames Biden and tells the political media what they want them to say.
@Spanky: Per CNN:
Strings hanging off? No discernable payload? Looks bad for Balloon Boy.
That is a very, very limited use side line. Long ago I checked out where that line is located (and of course do not remember where/when) and found this out. It hasn’t been fixed because it hardly ever gets used. The picture I was was from the same perspective but had no train using it.
Why do you think they are working on self driving trucks?
@Martin: Well, to be correct, I don’t think any true high speed rail systems anywhere in the world run on freight tracks.
Secondarily in order to get rid of drivers, but primarily to ensure that, when there are crashes, blame cannot be assigned.
Likewise Black Rock. Giant index fund buying some fraction of every stock in the market(s). If you have a 401k it might be in Vanguard or Black Rock.
Super Bowl thread?
Mike in NC
Media would rather focus on Hunter Biden’s laptop.
@eclare: Can we talk about how incredibly talented (and FINE) Sheryl Lee Ralph is? She just KILLED IT on “Lift Every Voice!”
Naturally, racists are mad…
because they hate any/all demonstration of Black Pride, Hope, etc.
ETA: Corrected brain fart.
@UncleEbeneezer: I love that song.
It appears that now that the US is acknowledging that UFOs exist, more are being spotted and reported. So I guess the daily shoot-down is the only thing that is new. Link
@UncleEbeneezer: Found it — GREAT!
ETA: I just asked WG to front-page it on the SB thread up above.
Not buying your cynicism. Sorry.
@Spanky: Sounds more like one of those fancy fighting kites. It would be truly hilarious if what our fighter jets were shooting down are (admittedly, large and expensive) hobbyist kites.
@UncleEbeneezer: That is the ONLY reason I turned to Fox early. Did you recommend These Women?
@zhena gogolia: And now white country dude with an insurrection beard is playing the Star Spangled Banner, and the white players are tearing up, lol
@eclare: I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s supposed to be amazing
@UncleEbeneezer: I am not going to look for that. WaterGirl has put SLR up top.
China runs not only high speed passenger rail, but high speed freight rail.
@CaseyL: I said last night we should be sending up a couple of Spads instead of F-fucking-22s with Sidewinders at, what? A million a pop?
@Spanky: I am pretty sure these things are well above a Spad’s service ceiling.
@Omnes Omnibus: ?? There is nothing novel or controversial about pointing out that Federal agencies answer to Congress.
@Ladyraxterinok: Gawd a’mighty.
@Jay: Yep. I know Italy and Japan also do high speed freight. I believe a number of other European countries are currently planning toward that goal.
China’s is the fastest though – with their most recent pushing passenger speeds.
22,000 ft. And of course, a SPAD has no O2 system for the pilot, so above 8,000 ft, the pilot has only a few minutes of operational time.
@Omnes Omnibus: Eh, maybe re-engined Spads.
Twenty thousand feet isn’t prohibitively high, but I don’t remember the Spad’s service ceiling.
@Jay: Well there you go. The Lake Huron balloon was “only” 20,000 feet.
@Frank Wilhoit: If that is how you want to argue it. OTOH, when I have worked for either federal or state governments, I saw myself as ultimately working for the people of the country or the state. For the most part, I think most public employees see it that way. YMMV.
ETA: And if you don’t understand my objection to the word customer in this context, there is no helping you.
@Jay: Interesting. A glance at Wikipedia also turns up South Korea (70% of the freight traffic), Italy, France (discontinued). Japan. A bit spotty but they do have this – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-speed_Freight_Trains_(Japan)
Presumably costs more?
@Frank Wilhoit: Galla Police is actually the correct pronunciation. Just up the rive from Pom Roy. There’s also a Burr lun (Berlin) Pa.
above 8,000 feet, you have a few minutes until your cognitive functions start to be degraded, and a short while until you pass out, and it takes 22 minutes to climb to the UFO’s reported altitude.
The probable reason for using newer platforms is the ability to use “better” radars for target lock, guns are probably not an option.
probably costs more than standard freight, but probably cheaper than airfreight or express truck.
@Jay: Eh? 8000 feet isn’t that high. We hiked around Jungfraujoch for a few hours one summer – it’s at 11,362 feet.
Are you mixing up feet and meters?
The SPAD’s service ceiling was 6800m (22,300 feet).
Once WWI aircraft could reach above 8,000 ft, airforces started paying attention to the condition and selecting for it. Like many things, it effects people differently. Some people are highly effected, others barely.
Wiki puts the SPAD S.XIII’s ceiling as 20,000 ft. The aircraft, like most, is capable of brief periods of flight above that altitude.
WWI pilots probably had the most experience with shooting down balloons. Flammable gas filled or flammable fabric covered could be set on fire with tracers or incindiary bullets. Inert gas could be eventually deflated by poking holes in them. There is the slight issue of firing several thousand rounds through an object that will barely slow them down, only to have gravity take them back down to earth.
Some kind of missile is probably the best bet, (minimal debris), but the issue is target lock on a pretty transparent, (to radar) object that probably also has no heat signature.
I watched a video on YouTube about why US passenger rail sucks. Basically, freight lines own the rails and all the economic incentives on that side are for short term thinking and not long term investment. https://youtu.be/qQTjLWIHN74
“Jewish space lasers on the fritz again?”
Hello! This is how it works in Red America!
RED AMERICA? I just spotted for the 1st time that this is an echo of “Red China” or something. Well, Ohio has gone red, sadly.
Look, the Soviets didn’t prance around and talk about Chernobyl until the god-damned free press pushed the issue, did they? Well that’s what we got here in Ohio. Let’s not get people worked up, move along and get back to work.
If a few worker bees have to give their all for the hive, that’s a beautiful thing. It’s like nature, it’s natural. Rather like a pack of feeding hyenas on the Serengeti, it’s the cost of doing business. And THAT’S what makes America what it is, the greatest nation ever, with natural rights GIVEN TO US (not them) from the ‘creator’ who is probably a strong male-identifying bi-ped with light skin.
I can’t believe how little attention this is getting in mainstream media. It’s there but incredibly low-key. I get that we have a lot of disasters going on right now, but this should really be top of the list for the US.
Do we really think the media control by this corporation is so strong? I can’t imagine.
@Frank Wilhoit: Not sure any of these are going to beat my neighboring town of Mantua, pronounced MAN-a-way.
@Mallard Filmore: That’s correct. CSX is the railroad descended from the Chesapeake & Ohio and it shares a duopoly on railroad freight travel in Eastern U.S. Norfolk Southern Railway – Wikipedia Thanks John for the update. The NYT has had zip coverage on this for last 7 days.