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Where Theres Smoke Theres Fire

Where Theres Good news: It was a normal day in Sharon Springs, KS, when a Union Pacific crew boarded a loaded coal train for the long trek to Salina.

The Bad news: Just a few miles into the trip a wheel bearing became overheated and melted, letting a metal support drop down and grind on the rail, creating white hot molten metal droppings spewing down to the rail.

The Good news: A very alert crew noticed smoke about halfway back in the train and immediately stopped the train in compliance with the rules.

The Bad news: The train stopped with the hot wheel over a wooden bridge with creosote ties and trusses.

Train in trouble on a wooden bridge

The crew stopped the train and got out to investigate; but by the time they had travelled the half-mile distance from the front of the train to the car in question, the wooden bridge had already caught fire. The crew unhooked the rest of the train from the cars stopped on the bridge, leaving six 280,000-pound coal cars to tumble into the creek as the fire engulfed the bridge. No injures were reported, the total damages were estimated at over $2 million (approximately $250,000 to replace the lost coal cars, and $1.8 million to replace the destroyed bridge with a steel and concrete version).

Where theres smoke theres fire train

Where there's smoke there's fire !!!

Train on Fire Big Time

Probably not a good idea to park a smoking train on a creosote ladened wooden bridge.

Train Disaster Smoke and Fire

(Don't let common sense get in the way of a good disaster!)

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