Last year, Mythbusters did something very special! They went to Eastern Oregon and managed to pull out one of their biggest experiments! The story behind this experiment is great! Engineers were doing steam cleaning on a tank of a freight train car. But, it started to rain and the engineers had to call it a day. They closed the tank and left. However, all that rain caused something incredible. The rain made the steam inside the tank contract and condense. The reaction created a vacuum which crushed the huge steel car! Yeah, a vacuum tank car! If this is not a case for the Mythbusters, we really don`t know what is!
To put this myth to a test, the producers of Mythbusters contacted AllTranstek. AllTranstek is the biggest railroad company for management and consulting. But firstly, they needed a place somewhere remote to record this experiment. They found the perfect location in Port Morrow.
For this amazing vacuum tank car stunt two special effects experts were hired. Their names are Savage and Hyneman! Rain is what caused the reaction to contract and condense in the myth. So, rainy conditions had to be simulated. They sprayed 350 gallons of water per minute over a whole hour! But the tank never buckled. However, the second day they used another tanker. And special effects experts Savage and Hyneman made a great theory.
They theorized that damage in the inside of the tank might cause the tank to collapse. For this theory to be put into practice the pressure inside the tank had to be lowered. After lowering the pressure a 3,500 pound concrete block was used. This massive concrete block was dropped on the car. And this time, the car tank collapsed like a crashed soda can!
However, real car tankers are designed to endure critical conditions. They are only susceptible if badly damaged. Because of this, Savage and Hyneman concluded that the vacuum car tank myth is “busted.”