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Thread: Engine catching on fire... Is this common?

  1. #1

    Default Engine catching on fire... Is this common?

    I'm a railfan newbie that was just listening to the Railroad Radio for the first time tonight, and I was astonished by all the chaos I heard on the LA channel. Over the course of a few hours I heard:

    - One train tripping a detector ("dangling equipment")
    - Another train failing a "air check" because of a "broken air hose"
    - One train ran a red signal without permission (oops see the boss)
    - and finally last but not least, an engine apparently "blew up" and caught on fire (cue the fire trucks).

    From what I heard it soundled like the engineer got clear and was not hurt. I think the engine was BNSF #4901, but it was all very hard to follow so I'm not certain.

    Together with all the little things (people going missing, orders being messed up, cars ending up on the wrong siding) I've got to ask, is what I've hearing a normal night at the railroad? Where is the NTSB in all this? How can a diesel engine just "blow up", anyway?
    - MW

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    lancaster, sc, u.s.
    Posts
    205

    Default RE: Engine catching on fire... Is this common?

    ya diesel engines can go sky high when they go. parts every where piston over there rod over there hot oil all over the exhuast and can make some darn good fires .at work when they blow and catch fire we just go the other way . some of them dont give a warning when they go but usaualy you can tell when there ready to go and shut them down.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Colorado, USA.
    Posts
    992

    Default RE: Engine catching on fire... Is this common?

    >Together with all the little things (people going missing,
    >orders being messed up, cars ending up on the wrong siding)
    >I've got to ask, is what I've hearing a normal night at the
    >railroad?

    Yep. Sounds about right to me. The engine catching fire is rather rare. Going through a red board is definately not something you want to happen often. It does occasionally happen and its at least a 30 day "vacation".

    Pinlifter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    .
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    1,544

    Default RE: Engine catching on fire... Is this common?

    >I'm a railfan newbie that was just listening to the Railroad
    >Radio for the first time tonight, and I was astonished by
    >all the chaos I heard on the LA channel. Over the course of
    >a few hours I heard:
    >
    >- One train tripping a detector ("dangling equipment")

    Common...sometimes things shift from a car in the train. Sometimes even an air hose starts hanging too low.


    >- Another train failing a "air check" because of a "broken
    >air hose"

    See above. Might have been a dangling air hose and when it negotiated a grade crossing with the raised pavement, it parted air hoses.


    >- One train ran a red signal without permission (oops see
    >the boss)

    Bad news for one engineer.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Boston, MA.
    Posts
    693

    Default RE: Engine catching on fire... Is this common?

    I have to add there were cases that Amtrak had when there electrics caught fire. The MBTA also has some ex CN units which are now GP40MC's which loved to have open fires at times. I climbed in one while in repairs and the whole cab was all back and no color.

  6. #6

    Default RE: Engine catching on fire... Is this common?

    Thanks, I'll have to check those sounds out. Should be good so I know when I should be running away as well.

    One of the engineers left his mike keyed (stuck maybe) for about a minute last night on the channel and you could hear the diesel engine in the background throttling up. Boy, was it loud! I hang around mostly electrics and steam engines, and they seem quiet in comparison... I hope they have loud radios in there!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Lake Arrowhead, Ca, USA.
    Posts
    682

    Default RE: Engine catching on fire... Is this common?

    The radio traffic you heard on the engine fire was on Cajon Pass.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Worcester, United Kingdom.
    Posts
    2,135

    Default RE: Engine catching on fire... Is this common?

    Yes, it can happen--here's a pic to illustrate "catastrophic" engine failure. I belive there are Kosmos "catastrophic" engine failures sound modules available in the download library--quite realistic they say.

    Mike :)
    Sinclair97

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