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 Post subject: Lightning Hits Stored Car at Strasburg, Destroys Contents
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:42 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8395
Location: Baltimore, MD
Verbatim from WGAL TV 8 Lancaster's Facebook:

Quote:
An antique rail car at Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster County was struck by lightning early this morning. The antique box car was not used by the railroad, but did house all of the railroad's Christmas decorations, which were destroyed by the lightning strike and fire.


Strong weather, including reported tornados, moved through southeastern Pa. and northern Maryland/Delaware this morning, with very strong lightning reported in New Castle County as well. Flash flood warnings are up for Lancaster County as I type. Up to 4 inches of rain being reported in New Castle County, Del. (home of Wilmington & Western).


Last edited by Alexander D. Mitchell IV on Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:15 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Strasburg, PA
Ah, the accuracy of up to the minute reporting. The “box car” is an un-restored BAR coach. A lot of its contents came out unscathed, but the car will need to be dried out, and the roof repaired. They were correct in that it sure was raining this morning. Thanks to the neighbor who was up and looking out the window when the lightning struck, and called it in, and to the fire department who did a good job in stopping it before the car went up.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8395
Location: Baltimore, MD
Boy. If it's not one bit of "lightning" striking the former Bangor & Aroostook, it's another!


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:21 am
Posts: 535
Location: Yardley, PA (near Phila)
Jeeze, I wonder what made the wooden passenger car more appetizing then the steel tank car? Maybe a taller metal vent?

Glad it was not worse. Probably too much a rarity to connect the cars and ground?

/Mitch


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:49 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:19 pm
Posts: 392
Location: Bowie, MD
Mgoldman wrote:
Jeeze, I wonder what made the wooden passenger car more appetizing then the steel tank car? Maybe a taller metal vent?
/Mitch


It is possible the tank was struck as well, but no fire because of much less resistance and resulting heat.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 1:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:17 pm
Posts: 81
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Verbatim from WGAL TV 8 Lancaster's Facebook:

Quote:
An antique rail car at Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster County was struck by lightning early this morning. The antique box car was not used by the railroad, but did house all of the railroad's Christmas decorations, which were destroyed by the lightning strike and fire.


Strong weather, including reported tornados, moved through southeastern Pa. and northern Maryland/Delaware this morning, with very strong lightning reported in New Castle County as well. Flash flood warnings are up for Lancaster County as I type. Up to 4 inches of rain being reported in New Castle County, Del. (home of Wilmington & Western).


I was on a train last night at the W&W. Marshallton yard and Mt. Cuba became Lake Marshallton and Lake Cuba within an hour. Other than the creek flooding, all is good.

As for the decorations, I'm sure Strasburg will be fine. If they can restore and maintain steam engines 24/7, they can replace some decorations.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2126
Location: Northern Illinois
Mgoldman wrote:
Glad it was not worse. Probably too much a rarity to connect the cars and ground?

/Mitch


Actually, the cars were grounded, for all intents and purposes, that's why they were struck. Establishing a good ground is the way you encourage lightning to strike, that's why lightning rods are grounded; you want the arc attracted to the rod rather than the building roof. In reality, there is so much energy involved with lightning that if the electrical potential exists, it is going to strike something, even if the arc has to travel the wet surface to finally go to ground. I have gotten mild shocks at IRM from the ground TO the equipment during close lightning strikes, as the ground (earth) in the immediate vicinity couldn't dissipate the charge fast enough and was seeking a better path (ME!) to the trolley system ground rod.

Glad the fire was extinguished before the whole car was lost.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:25 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:35 am
Posts: 98
Location: Strasburg, Pa.
The lighning hit the tree the car was under first and then kissed the car.

Rick

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:54 am
Posts: 797
Location: NJ
Lightning seems to be a tricky fellow to predict. My employer's plant got hit by lightning last June, resulting in a three alarm fire. While wading through the wreckage and six inches of water, once we got an all-clear from the fire department, we were discussing the fact that it didn't hit the tallest part of the building, the trees (even taller), or the Northeast Corridor, 100 yards away.

A few days later, there was another bad storm; standing on the back dock with one of the restoration guys, we DID see the NEC take a lightning strike on one of the taller cat poles, which was taking the HV transmission wires up over an overhead bridge.

(And if anyone needs doctor blades for printing, or any other kind of industrial wiping blades, please let me know. We were shut down for six months and lost a few customers...)

EDM
Flash/Boom, NJ


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:31 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:00 am
Posts: 524
Location: Dallas ,Texas. USA
I know of one RR museum that stores paper ( historic parts reorders that have drawings/blue prints attached to them), in an old box car, and has yet to get to that paper.

This should be a lesson to all to get your artifacts and paper under a real (not too flammable) roof with a fire suppression system to back it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:43 am
Posts: 8
Is the BAR car one of the ones that came from the CT Trolley Museum several years ago? They were purchased by the CTM to be used behind the Middle Fork Climax prior to the sale to the D&GBV, sadly never happening. I was always surprised Strasburg didn't grab the Philadelphia and Reading coach, 940 at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: Lightning Strikes Boxcar at Strasburg RR, Destroys Conte
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:35 am
Posts: 98
Location: Strasburg, Pa.
Ron,

We acquired the two BAR cars from the Connecticut Trolley Museum who donated them to us in 1999. The idea was and is to restore them if and when business warrants the investment. In the meantime, they are both “cocooned” and used for storage.

Rick

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