Amtrak Locomotive Catches fire in Elyria

Amtrak No. 112 sites on a siding near the Blue Star Salvage Company in Elyria on Wednesday morning. (Photographs by Dan Davidson)

An Amtrak P42 locomotive caught fire early Wednesday morning (Dec. 15, 2010) shortly after the eastbound Lake Shore Limited. Flames were reported to be shooting about 10 feet into the air before Elyria fire fighters arrived to douse the blaze.

The fire was reported at 5:56 a.m. The train had departed the Elyria station seven minutes earlier. The train carried 128 passengers, none of whom were harmed. No Amtrak crew members were injured either.

Fire fighters reported the major challenge was getting water to the scene. They approached the engine from both sides of the Norfolk Southern tracks, using two fire trucks and a nearby hydrant. The train was halted behind the Elyia post office, 345 Bridge Street.

The damaged locomotive was detached from the train at nearly 6:30 a.m. Although Amtrak’s plan had been to bus the passengers on to their destinations, safety officials determined the train was safe to use and No. 48 departed Elyria just after 10 a.m.

News accounts reported that Norfolk Southern brought in another locomotive to assist No. 48.

Damage to the locomotive was estimated at $1 million.

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