Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Toxic Train Derailment in Louisiana, Will it ever happen in Leucadia?

News story: Louisiana Train Derailment and Acid Spill
Monday, May 19th, 2008
A six-car train derailment that caused one of the cars to rupture and leak hydrochloric acid, resulted in the evacuation of thousands this weekend in Louisiana. The acid formed a yellowish pool on the ground and spread a large, toxic cloud over Lafayette, a southern Louisiana city about 125 miles west of New Orleans. A Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company train was responsible for the derailment and spill.

An evacuation order was enacted early on Saturday morning after an estimated 11,000 gallons of hydrochloric acid leaked from the ruptured rail car. Hydrochloric acid can cause respiratory problems and irritation to the skin and eyes. Cleanup crews used lime to neutralize the chemical, while contractors for the rail company excavated the acid for disposal. According to the state Department of Environmental Quality, the railroad company intends to dig out and dispose of the resultant material. According to state police, over half of the 11,000 gallons of acid has been removed so far.

The derailment and spill affected a large scope of Louisiana’s Lafayette Parish area and, following the derailment, approximately 3,000 residents and businesses in northwest Lafayette—all those within a one-mile perimeter of the derailment—were displaced.

Burning Questions:
Are the city of Encinitas emergency responders trained and equipped for an event like a train derailment with a toxic spill?

What if the late night Santa Fe freight train derails and unleashes a toxic cloud over coastal Leucadia at 2 am?

What would a coastal Leucadia evacuation look like, especially if the Leucadia Blvd intersection was closed?


  1. Great Questions! To which all Leucadians know the answers.

  2. It will happen because the current crossing is a deadly disaster waiting to happen year after year with more and more trains coming. Up until the 1990s there were 12 trains per day. Now with the Coaster and Amtrak we have 55. With the double tracking we will have over 100 per day.

    The only solution is grade separation or sometime in the not to distance future, there will be a poisonous gas released and many Encinitians will die.

  3. I hate to say it, but I think our aging council has a hearing problem.

    Here is a message that has to be made clear to Council.

    Good Morning! WAKE UP!!!!!

    QUITE dicking around with a dream of building a regional sports park, and focus on a deadly problem that has plagued the city since incorporation.

    Use some of that regional sports parks $60 million dollar budget and bond proceeds to fix the death trap intersection.

    Don’t build anymore fricken trophy projects like $30 million dollar trophies used by a few hundred citizens per day, or $30 million in refurbishing trophy fire stations that are used by a hand full of paided emergency personal, when the highest priority is being ignored.


    We really would like Leucadia to be as safe as other parts of our fine City. Do you understand?

    What’s your thoughts on this Bob and Joe?

  4. I once loved the sound of trains. However, I have started to count the blaring horns as they pass thru Cardiff from 8:30PM on until, God only knows when, I am beginning to hate these things. Since we already have double tracking in Cardiff, I can tell you it does seem like the noise factor is going up and up. It almost seems as if they are deliberately making the noise louder at night, and blaring their horns more times than needed. Probably a misperception on my part, however, when I am attempting to "wind down" from a long days work, I really don't appreciate any more noise. Is there not something we can do? HELP!

  5. Dr. Lorri, I swear the train horns are suddenly louder this month. They never bothered me before. I really think they cranked up the volume. I guarantee the horns are currently over the legal decibel limit. The trains should use bells and whistles not the ridiculous horns they currently use.

  6. I live on Oceanview and I can hear the train horns with earplugs on! It's almost like "Eraserhead" around here.

    Our aging council has an ATTITUDE PROBLEM.





  8. Once elected, undergrounding the rail corridor through Leucadia will be a priority while I serve on the Encintas City council. And as stated before I will lobby other council persons for the opportunity to repesenting Encinitas on the North County Transit Board to see that this is accomplished.

  9. The existing city officials, too busy banning toy lighters to gave a s^%t about us, does not appear to care enough to even try. Cities and counties across Calif. nominated crossings to receive funding (please see below). Vista nominated 5, Encinitas 0. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

    "The Section 130 Grade Crossing Improvement Program provides funds to local governments (cities and counties) and railroads to eliminate hazards at existing at-grade public highway-rail crossings"


  10. Bob - if you are sincere in what you say about having the balls to fix the undergrounding of the rail - then you will have many many votes.

  11. Roadside park bumMay 21, 2008 3:08 PM

    This is a city that can't put porta-potties at Beacons beach in the summer and you want them to be ready for a train derailment???


  12. I live a block from the tracks and the trains are not a problem. I-5 is! The roar from the truck and car traffic is never-ending. I worry about hazardous spills on that freeway all the time.
    The trains have a set schedule. We don't need tunnels, underground tracks, or other expensive projects. Just get rid of the train cops and let us cross on our own. Almost all the fatalities have been suicides, and one that was labeled "accident" was a friend, and I think she was pushed onto the tracks by her husband.

  13. Anonymous 5:24-You may be right about the Interstate 5 area, but I don't hear i train noise and it is getting louder and louder. I sent an e-mail to the Council today, so I will let you know if anyone responds.

  14. The train horns are more frequent and louder than they were a month ago.

  15. Anon 5:24-

    You must live at least one mile from the train blast zone, because if you lived within a mile, you would know the train blasts are getting unreal.

    Those fricken trains didn't blast like that in the '70s, 80's, or 90
    s.... so far the 2000s are not doing so well.

    The trains are a huge problem, and I am voting for Bob.

  16. Chances are, if there is a derailment, or worse, a head on collision of trains in Leucadia it will only spill new cars coming up from Mexico. In the midst of all the economy woes, I still don't get how 94 car carries are still delivering vehicles to CA every day from places south.

  17. Fred the cars are import entering the port of San Diego. they have massive shipments and massive store yards down at the port.

    America stop making quality cars 30years ago.

  18. There are also many toxic tankers delivering unknown chemicals from the port to Camp Pendleton. Top secret special gases.

  19. Anon 5:24: You really have no problem with the train or the crossing? You are looking forward to double-tracking, more and more scheduled trains at possibly higher speeds? You don’t object to the scorched earth? You must not know or care about anyone with Asthma. Have you never been awoken at 3:10 am by the horn blast? How about having someone try to pass you going across the tracks by driving across the double-yellow lines. Having a convenient way to commit suicide (no 24-hour waiting / cool off period) is a good thing? I do agree that the cop is a waste.

  20. Heck half of the people in Leucadia seem like they're on acid maybe the derailment would be cause to celebrate.

  21. maybe... but the other half would not ....

    I personally think all those dumb asses that bought boxes to the east away from the coast are on acid.

    Ask yourself, why do you live in Encinitas?

  22. No doubt about it. The horn blasts are getting louder. Did Jerome Stocks, our representative on NCTD, use his influence to punish us? He's vindictive enough to do it. Watch him on the webcast when someone says something he doesn't like. He almost spits fire.

    I live close to the tracks. Last night a freight train went south and blasted its horn 3 to 4 times longer than normal. It was mostly tanker cars. It would be a major disaster if there is ever a derailment.

    Whatever happened to the quiet zone? If Jerome wants to schmooze the public this election year, he needs to get off his duff and do something.

  23. Now a days the trains are creating many problems. The recent one is a dangerous thing which may creat several diseases. Louisiana people should be carefull on this dangerous accident. Last night I heard the horn of the train 3 to 4 min, beyond its limits.



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