Tenn. railroads turn to chemicals as coal declines

November 3, 2015

oil-train-railThousands of rail tank cars roll through the cities, suburbs and rural areas of East Tennessee day and night, moving chemicals and energy products desperately needed by a variety of industries that provide thousands of jobs throughout the region.

The commodities these tank cars carry are wide and varied, almost a who’s who of the chemical industry. And yes, some of them are dangerous.

A recent CSX tank train rolling through the crossing on Liberty Street at Middlebrook Pike offered a virtual montage of commodities shipped regularly by rail through Knoxville: LP gas, hot molten sulfur, isopropyl alcohol, piperidine and more, all identified by their four-digit hazmat code numbers displayed in a diamond-shaped sign on each car’s side.

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