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Horrifying things one sees when driving a freight train part 1 – the adventure begins
Because train robbers aren’t really a thing anymore, while pirates and terrorists are, railroads are still a popular way of transporting goods from point A to point B.
Driving a freight train is the type of job that doesn’t seem like much of a challenge (they don’t even have to shovel the coal anymore!), but every time we say that about a job, we turn out to be laughably wrong.
Meet “Stan” a conductor for one of the biggest freight railroads in North America. He says:
‘You could be hauling freight that could murder an entire city’
Most consumer goods today are transported via planes and/or trucks rather than trains, because this isn’t the Old West anymore. But where modern freight trains excel is in toting around the scariest things you could ever imagine. “We haul goods and commodities that are too dangerous to be transported by road,” Stan explains. “Things like bombs for the government, nuclear fuel rods, tanks and military equipment, and liquid chlorine, which if it were released into the air could kill people nearly instantly … If that chlorine tank ruptures, people are going to die.” Hold up, chlorine? The stuff they put in pools? What’s so scary about that?
Well, let’s put it this way: In 2005, a freight train derailed in Graniteville, South Carolina, USA, causing one of its chlorine tanks to burst. Five thousand people had to be evacuated from the area, with hundreds requiring medical assistance, and nine died from exposure to the gas. That’s the type of cargo that Stan has to haul during some of his runs.
But for all Stan knows, he actually might have hauled the occasional alien every now and then because of his dealings with men in black. “I remember a time when I got to work and was greeted by a nice gentleman in a black suit and sunglasses. I was given a manifest that was entirely blank and was told to get everything together and head for Indianapolis, and to not stop under any circumstances. A helicopter followed us the entire way. Never found out what was in that one.”
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