AllTranstek takes on imploding tank car myth

Can tank cars implode? A long-running urban legend once held that this was true, but the Discovery Channel's "MythBusters" decided to investigate the matter further. To do that, the show's producers got in touch with rail consulting firm AllTranstek LLC, which provided general guidance, two DOT-111 tank cars for testing and a site in Boardman, Ore., to carry out the experiment.

Typically, the show takes on multiple myths in each episode, but this time, the producers slotted an entire episode to explore the imploding tank car myth. The investigation marked the TV show's biggest logistical operation to date.

Earlier this month, I reached out to the folks at AllTranstek to learn a bit more about the company's participation in the show. I also checked in with MythBusters' Executive Director Dan Tapster to find out why his team was interested in exploring the myth. Check out my recent online feature to read what I learned.

1 Reply

  • It's not a myth. I retired from AAR nine years ago, and I have photos of three collapsed tank cars from back in the day. BTW, most DOT-111 cars are equipped with vacuum relief valves that are designed to open and relieve negative pressure.
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