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Western Railroad Discussion > Asbestos ever used in rail cars?


Date: 07/14/07 19:20
Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: RRmemories

Some rail cars way before my time (box cars I think) had insulation in them. Was that ever composed of asbestos? Aaron class of '07



Date: 07/14/07 20:09
Re: Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: zephyrus

RRmemories Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Some rail cars way before my time (box cars I
> think) had insulation in them. Was that ever
> composed of asbestos? Aaron class of '07


Oh yes. The Big A is an ongoing problem for museums, restorers and those companies that still have older cars around. I can't say much about freight cars, but many older passenger cars (pre-Amtrak) had and have asbestos based insulation. Steam locomotives and some diesels also has asbestos in them, unless it has been previously removed (typically done as part of an operational or cosmetic restoration).

Z



Date: 07/14/07 21:03
Re: Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: calzephyr48

RRmemories Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Some rail cars way before my time (box cars I
> think) had insulation in them. Was that ever
> composed of asbestos? Aaron class of '07

Absolutely! Steam lines, probably refrigerator car insulation too. The lawyers have made it a problem. Fiberglas is next.



Date: 07/14/07 21:23
Re: Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: px320

Asbestos is still the best insulating, fire resistant, material there is. Magnesium Silicate is a naturally occuring mineral which is in abundant supply in the gold country of California.

Nearly 20 years ago I attended classes to become a "Competent Person" in supervising and performing Asbestos abatement. At the time every school district and government agency was doing an Asbestos abatement program with strict guidelines, rules and enforcement to assure no one was exposed to this "deadly" substance.

I learned two very important lessons.

1. The vast majority of Asbestos related illness occurs within the ranks of people who worked in shipyards and other heavy industry during WWII and all most all of those people were heavy smokers. The comination of Asbestos exposure and smoking increases Cancer risk by a factor of 50 times or more.

2. A contractor asked, "What would he work on after all of the Asbestos was abated?" Answer, "Not to worry, Fiberglass has the same characteristics as Asbestos and that will be the next abatement program."

Question, "What is Asbestos being replaced with by government fiat?" Answer, " Fiberglas?"

Any questions?



Date: 07/14/07 22:25
Re: Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: bnsfbob

px320 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Asbestos is still the best insulating, fire
> resistant, material there is.

Yes. In the 1950s, Asbestos was considered the "miracle" mineral; DDT was considered the "miracle" chemical and nuclear was considered the "miracle" energy source.

> I learned two very important lessons.
>
> 1. The vast majority of Asbestos related illness
> occurs within the ranks of people who worked in
> shipyards and other heavy industry during WWII and
> all most all of those people were heavy smokers.
> The combination of Asbestos exposure and smoking
> increases Cancer risk by a factor of 50 times or
> more.

There were many sources of exposure. The heavy smoker theory has much support.

> 2. A contractor asked, "What would he work on
> after all of the Asbestos was abated?" Answer,
> "Not to worry, Fiberglass has the same
> characteristics as Asbestos and that will be the
> next abatement program."
>
> Question, "What is Asbestos being replaced with by
> government fiat?" Answer, " Fiberglas?"

If this is true, then we are all toast.

Bob



Date: 07/14/07 22:38
Re: Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: PTRA

DDT still is a miracle chemical....everywhere in the world but the USA



Date: 07/15/07 00:08
Re: Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: hobojaks

I thought that they still had Asbestos in brake shoes?



Date: 07/15/07 05:02
Re: Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: GoldenState

hobojaks Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I thought that they still had Asbestos in brake
> shoes?



Only on Renzenberger vans.



Date: 07/15/07 11:39
Re: Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: spnudge

In the steam days, the boilers and all the pipes were wrapped in it. In the diesel era, all your steam generators and pipes were wrapped in it. The hot water to the cab heaters were wrapped in it. And you can't forget the good old Cobra brake shoes.

But hey, that was okay. The still sent you into plants like Grefco, JM or Union Carbide to give them a switch and the traction motor blowers made sure you breathed in enough to make you pay years later. I know one conductor that has to drag around a tank of oxygen and he is only 60. He spent many, many years on a local that switched those places 2 to 3 times a day.

Oh, and don't forget the coke plants. You would be coughing up black crap for days after switching them.


Nudge



Date: 07/15/07 14:25
Re: Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: davew833

The EPA instuted a wide-ranging ban of asbestos-containing products in 1989. It was overturned in court in 1991. There is no blanket ban on asbestos in the US, just on a few specific products such as flooring felt, rollboard, and corrugated, commercial, or specialty paper, and any new products that haven't historically contained asbestos. I remember a Midas muffler/brake manager telling me a few years ago that "asbestos hasn't been used in brake shoes/pads for years"... not true. There is no restriction on use of asbestos in brake linings, clutch facings, gaskets, etc., in the automotive industry. I'm sure the railroad industry is the same. Many manufacturers have voluntarily stopped using it, but certainly not all.



Date: 07/16/07 19:31
Re: Asbestos ever used in rail cars?
Author: RRmemories

Nudge,

My grandpop who I live with worked on top of a coke for about 2 years putting this black slop around the lids. He says they'd keep popping off and fire and smoke would shoot out. Never saw a coke oven except in HO but the point I wanted to make is that he is always worried about Benzene. At 73 I think has it made through the worst times. Is Benzene the black stuff you were referring to or was that like coal dust? At 18 my opinion on this for him though doesn't mean much ha. He says oil from transformers on locomotives is bad too. Aaron '07



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