Mile-long freight train catches fire, shuts down Santa Clarita railroad track

Firefighters work to extinguish the flames in the front engine, January 10, 2019. Caleb Lunetta / The Signal

BREAKING: Train catches fire

BREAKING: A locomotive pulling a freight train catches fire on tracks near Soledad Canyon Road and Ruether Avenue. Reporter Austin Dave is live at the scene.Read more here:

Posted by Santa Clarita Valley Signal on Thursday, January 10, 2019

A freight train locomotive fire near the Ruether Avenue and Soledad Canyon Road intersection resulted in the Antelope Valley line temporarily shutting down Thursday.

At 12:01 p.m., Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatchers received a call regarding a Union Pacific train whose front engine was on fire.

“We got a call of flames showing from the main engine electrical panel,” said Joseph Napoli, a county Fire Department spokesman. “When we got on scene at 12:05, there was light smoke showing from the lead car … we began to investigate from the top of the train.”

Fire officials announced knockdown at 12:11 p.m. and no injuries had been reported, according to Napoli.

Firefighters work to extinguish the flames in the front engine, January 10, 2019. Caleb Lunetta / The Signal

At approximately 12:30 p.m., Metrolink officials issued a statement through their official Twitter account that the tracks between the Santa Clarita and Via Princessa stations were closed due to the disabled freight train.

Because of the delays for commuters, Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses were dispatched to the Santa Clarita stations to offer train passengers an alternative mode of transportation while officials worked to clear the AV Line tracks.

Firefighters shoot water into the engine room where the fire first began, January 10, 2019. Caleb Lunetta / The Signal.

Thursday’s Metrolink passengers of trains 209 and 216 were also offered a reimbursement of up to $50, for use of alternative transit, which included taxis, Uber and Lyft.

By 2 p.m., the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station had announced the train had been moved and all lines had been cleared.

The traffic that had been impeded due to the disabled locomotive — namely the railroad crossings between the Via Princessa and Santa Clarita stations that had been blocked off by the train cars — returned to normal operations.

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