Smokey Barn News
Tuesday September 30, 2014
Springfield, Robertson County Tenn.
Train Engine Catches Fire Coming Through Springfield
(See Photo Gallery Below)
Crews were initially dispatched to Clinard Dr and Bill Jones Industrial Dr. When they arrived they could see the fire but couldn’t get to it from that side of the tracks. Crews found an access point to the fire on Memorial Blvd next to Baggett Grain. (Exact location of fire.) Once they arrived fire crews still had some challenges gaining access to the fire due to a small ravine covered with brush and trees.
Smokey asked Springfield Fire Chief Jimmy Hamill if it’s frustrating to see a fire that you can’t get to. Hamill said “YES.” Sometimes even a reporter can ask a dumb question.
Once crews were able to gain access to the fire they realized it was one of the train’s engines, or specifically a “traction motor,” Hamill said. A traction motor usually refers to an electric motor that provides the primary rotational torque to drive the train. Modern trains are moved by electric motors that are powered by big diesel engines. Once the train came to a stop the fire spread to the cross-ties under the train.
Hot grease was dripping down onto the wood cross-ties igniting them on fire, Hamill said. The train’s conductor indicated that he was “pulling hard” when lots of smoke started billowing from one of the engines as the train passed the trestle off of Kinneys Rd, according to Hamill.
The Springfield Fire Department used fire extinguishers to initially put the fire out and then crews soaked the motor and the Cross-ties with water to cool them down, Hamill said.
Crews examined the tracks for a few miles North of Kinneys Rd to be sure there were no additional fires from the dripping grease. Hamill said that cross-ties can be difficult to extinguish once ignited due to the creosote treatment they have. Creosote is used to waterproof the ties.
The train was only out of commission for a short time and the defective engine was pulled back to Nashville for repairs. No one was injured in the incident.
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