Monday, May 02, 2016

CSX Derailment Part I — Pictures from the morning

I live near this and didn't knew it had happened until I saw the news. I was thinking that looks really familiar.

From the Post:
A CSX freight train derailed in Northeast Washington early Sunday, spilling hazardous chemicals along a busy rail corridor. The wreck stranded some residents away from their homes, forced the closure of a Metro station and snarled traffic as emergency personnel sought to contain the leaks and clear the wreckage.

The derailment, about 70 cars into the train, spilled half the liquid contents of a 15,500- gallon tanker containing sodium hydroxide, D.C. Fire and EMS Deputy Chief John Donnelly said. The liquid spilled onto the tracks and seeped into the ground below it.

CSX described sodium hydroxide as a chemical “used to produce various household products, including paper, soap and detergents.” It is a chemical component similar to bleach or Drano, officials said. Two other rail cars were leaking chemicals that officials described as less hazardous. 
Here are some pictures of what it looked like this morning from the Metro platform.

CSX Derailment Part II — Pictures from the afternoon

This is how the clean up effort has gone today. All of the cars are gone.

Here's a little more on the next steps:
One scrap metal hopper car is too damaged and will be cut up on site and removed using industrial equipment, officials said. After the train cars are removed from the site, CSX will begin soil remediation in the area affected by the sodium hydroxide spill, the company said. Following that process, track will be laid to begin the process of restoring service.

“This will be done at walking speed, under the direction of FRA and with air monitoring in place,” D.C. Fire Department officials said in a statement.

In the picture above that looks like one of the chemicals that leaked out.

As you can see in this section the rails have been completely pulled up.

This gives you a really good perspective on just how close the train tracks are to the Metro tracks.

More from the Post:
In addition to the inconvenience to those who depend on the rail corridor for travel, the derailment also revived longstanding concerns about freight trains carrying hazardous materials through the nation’s capital.
D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), who visited the site Monday, said she was worried about a possible chemical spill in the Rhode Island Avenue NE neighborhood where the wreck occurred.
Monte Edwards, a trustee with the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, which serves as a watchdog on transportation and urban planning issues, said Sunday’s spill raised renewed concerns about the viability of shared freight and passenger tracks in the District.

Speaking for himself, he said the spill showed CSX’s disregard for rail safety and inspections in the District.

“This was a hydroxide that they spilled this time. Those are nasty things coming through,” he said, reflecting on what could have happened had the chemical spilled just a short distance south, near the Capitol.
“A spill like that [one] that just occurred here in Northeast, [if] that would occur near a grate or an entrance to a Metro station, it would flood the Metro station,” he said.

The spill underscores the need for the District to devise a comprehensive rail plan, similar to state plans required under the 2008 Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, he said. The District Department of Transportation says it expects a rail plan to be completed as early as this summer.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

More of Linus and Charlie

I used the new camera. Linus channels his inner demon in this picture.

Linus and Charlie are demanding more time on the blog. They think they are just as important as the Nats. They also said they could nap for more than 16 innings. Why isn't that considered some sort of a record.

Linus and Charlie Have a Lazy Sunday

On a overcast rainy Sunday Linus and Charlie play cat in the box.

But mostly just nap.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sunday's Marathon Nats Game Against the Twins

It was so long there were two president's races. It was so long that there was a 14th inning stretch. It was so long that some of the late starting afternoon games were finished before this one closed out in the 16th. It was just amazing.

Bryce Harper had one pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th smashed a home run and sent it to extra innings.

There were opportunities from both teams to try and end the game earlier but that didn't happen. Then it appeared in the bottom of the 15th that it would indeed end. End with the Nats coming out on top. Danny Espinosa had walked. But there were two outs. The pitche , Perez, was due up. But since there no other players left to pinch hit.

Perez hit a bunt and well this is what happened:
Perez saw third baseman Eduardo Nunez playing back, so he dropped down a bunt in his direction. Catcher John Ryan Murphy picked up the ball instead of letting it go foul. His throw was wide of first base, and Espinosa scored to tie the game. The Nationals’ dugout went wild.
It was on to the 16th. The Twins were up. They went three up three down. Their last batter was their pitcher, Michael Tonkin. He hit a ball and ran as fast as he could to 1st base. He was out. And he was mad that he was out. He took his batting helmet off and threw it to the ground. I thought he's going to be rattled when he gets back on the mound. Sure enough he was rattled. Up comes when Chris Heisey and smash out of the park it goes Nats win.

A little about the game from the Post:
the zaniness finally ended in the 16th inning, after 5 hours 56 minutes, when Chris Heisey smashed his first walkoff home run in the Nationals’ 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins. Thirty-eight players, including 14 pitchers, appeared in the game. The teams combined for 516 pitches, 27 hits and 32 strikeouts.

“I feel like I just came out of the twilight zone,” Nationals Manager Dusty Baker said. “Man, that was some game. That was a roller coaster game of emotions.”

The Nationals had many chances to avoid this situation. They stranded 14 runners, many in the early innings, a combination of the Twins’ good defense, notably in the outfield, and the Nationals’ missed swings.

A little more from a column by Thomas Boswell:
For the rest of this year — and perhaps longer, depending on how this season turns out — the Washington Nationals can simply refer to their 6-5, 16-inning win over Minnesota on Sunday at Nationals Park as “The Twilight Zone Game.”

“That’s the craziest game I’ve [ever] seen,” said Nats Manager Dusty Baker, who coined the “Twilight Zone” line afterward. “[Coaches] Chris [Speier] and Davey [Lopes] and I, we talked about it. We’ve seen thousands of games. We always say: ‘Go to the ballpark; you always see something you’ve never seen before.’ Well, I certainly hadn’t seen anything like this.”

Who did Baker put in? Deep-bench sub Chris Heisey. Who won the gamer with a walk-off home run in the 16th inning? In this “Twilight Zone,” who else could it be but Heisey. Yes, the man who subbed for the MVP also played hero, just like Harper.

So I've been to the two longest games in Nats' history. I know for sure it is a game I will remember for a very long time.

Celebrating Heisey crossing the plate.

Here comes the gatorade.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Screech has a Birthday Party

Screech celebrated a birthday on Saturday. He just so happened to have his party right by me.

The other mascots celebrated by covering Screech with silly string. It was very funny.

Here are a few pictures of the party.