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How Is Technology Avoiding Train Accidents?

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Train crashes and train derailments happen worldwide every year; many remember the devastating 2013 Lac-Megantic derailment and fire in Canada that killed 42 people. 

However, there is new technology being installed by train companies and railroads to reduce the chance of train accidents, which are highlighted below. Of course, accidents still happen, and it’s important to talk to an experienced train accident attorney if it’s happened to you. 

Enhanced Train Braking

The United States now requires better braking on trains that carry flammable materials, such as oil and petroleum. Any train with a block of 20 train cars or more that has a combustible liquid must be fitted with a two-way end-of-train (EOT) electronic device or a distributed power braking system. 

Both devices spread braking functionality across several points on the train for faster, more reliable stopping power. 

Additionally, any train with 70 or more tanker cars with flammable contents at speeds above 40 MPH must have an electronically controlled pneumatic braking apparatus by May 2023. 

These advanced technologies allow for better-controlled braking by allowing for more uniform and responsive braking pressure application. The bottom line is a shorter stopping distance, lower derailment risks, and lower chances of train car pileup if a derailment does happen. 

Safer Tanker Cars

The tank cars involved in the Lac-Megantic tragedy were an older Class III variety, which was known to be likely to rupture even in a low-speed accident. 

After that derailment, the US and Canada came up with a stricter tanker car standard called Class 117. The new car has better resistance to punctures, enhanced structural strength, and is resistant to fractures if a derailment happens. 

However, it’s notable that Class III tankers are still allowed to be used in the US and Canada for some dangerous chemicals until June 2025. 

Better Information Sharing

Technological advancements are allowing better information sharing between train operators and government agencies, which allows for more effective decision-making. For instance, Canada’s protective Direction No. 36 requires railroad companies to provide cities and counties with dangerous goods updates, including the number of trains, cars carrying hazardous materials, and more. 

This information is designed to provide local governments with what they need to know for effective emergency responses and planning. 

The US is mandating better classification of many petroleum-based products to ensure better record-keeping and packaging by requiring a documented testing and sampling procedure. This information is needed to be given to the US Department of Transportation when requested. 

Human Error

While technological improvements reduce the chances of train accidents, human error can still occur. 

For example, in the Lac-Megantic tragedy, the train carried millions of liters of crude oil through the small town in Quebec at a dangerous 65 MPH before veering off the tracks, killing 47 people. 

A few hours before the wreck, the train idled in Nantes, Quebec, and the engine caught fire and was disabled by the local fire department. 

There was no power from the engine, so air leaked from the braking system. Not enough handbrakes were applied, and the train rolled downhill out of control toward the small town of Lac-Megantic. 

Some of the reasons for that crash were less about technology and more about humans failing to use technology. Some human failures in that derailment were failure to maintain the train engine, not understanding the connection between the engine and air brakes, and not setting and testing handbrakes properly. 

Better training of train operators has been the norm in Canada and the US since that fateful day in 2013, but there is still more work to prevent future train accidents.

From television to the internet platform, Jonathan switched his journey in digital media with Bigtime Daily. He served as a journalist for popular news channels and currently contributes his experience for Bigtime Daily by writing about the tech domain.

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GSI Exchange Debunks 4 Popular Myths About Precious Metal Investments

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Investing in precious metals is considered an alien territory by many. This view has led to the entire gold, silver, and other precious metals market becoming an island of myths. To allay your fears, experts at GSI Exchange debunk four popular myths about precious metal investments.

No future

The presence of cryptocurrencies in the investment world is often seen as a doomsday clock running for precious metals. For GSI Exchange experts, that consideration is folly. They say, “Precious metals, unlike crypto, are not virtual tokens. They are one of the senses, real and visible. Precious metals, especially gold, have been accepted as high-value assets globally and will continue to hold firmly to their position.” 

Not easy to store

Another reason that keeps people from investing confidently in precious metals is the popular myth that storing precious metals is challenging. For GSI Experts, that’s a consideration of the world gone by. They say, “We live in a highly technological world where all sorts of codes and securities are possible. You can opt for the best options available and rest at ease about the safety of your investment.”

For insiders only

Our fears often turn out to be smaller than how we had imagined them to be. Investment in precious metals is a case in point. Experts at GSI say, “The precious metals market is mostly determined by demand and supply. Even the most seasoned “insiders” cannot always predict what may happen. This leaves more room for everyone and all sizes of investments.” 

Not for small investors

This is among the biggest myths that keep people from benefiting from investing in precious metals. The experts of GSI Exchange put it this way, “people often underplay their ability to invest in precious metals, thinking and believing that the market discourages small investors. Far from it. Small investment options for paying a small markup over spot pricing are always available.”

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