MBTA train catches fire in Providence tunnel

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) – Providence fire crews surrounded the Amtrak Station for a report of a train on fire early Wednesday morning.

The Providence fire chief says they received the report around 5:30 AM, and once they arrived, they found that a generator on one of the incoming trains caught fire.

“It was the hauling section of the train; the first car in a 6-car train,” Deputy Assistant Chief Stephen Houle said. “It was a fire in the generator compartment, so there was fire emitting from the top of the train car.”

Amtrak officials cut off the power to the train and de-energized the generator. Houle says once that happened, “everyone’s stress level went down.”

“It could’ve been a malfunction, a mechanical malfunction,” Houle said. “I believe it is a diesel generator. They cut power and fuel to the train and the fire died down.”

The car impacted by the fire was in the rear, which carries the fuel, and engine. There are no people in that unit. All passengers on the train were evacuated.

Fire officials say there were no injuries in the incident and now it’s up to MBTA to remove the train.

“They’re going to de-energize the train, they’ll ground the train and then it’ll be up to them to detach the engine compartment, haul it out,” Houle said. “They’ll have to get another engine here to move the rest of that train so it could be quite some time.”

The MBTA says to expect delays in service throughout the morning.

Delays also impacted Amtrak trains due to what they said were “overhead power issues”.

“I have a very tight schedule; I have to be there at 11,” Kevin Clayton said.

Clayton was one of dozens headed to New York. His train was later cancelled.

“If these two years have taught us, anything can happen,” Clayton said. “So, you just have to take whatever comes with it.”

It was the same story for Madisun Campbell, who was booked on the same train with a tight schedule.

“It’s a little bit destructive to me,” Campbell said. “I have a doctor’s appointment I’m going to at 11:30.”

In a statement, Keolis Commuter Services, which operates MBTA said, “The local fire department was called in response to an exhaust stack fire on the locomotive of Providence train 7800 while it was at Providence Station. The fire was contained to a small engine and extinguished on its own. There were no injuries to passengers or train crews. Passengers were transferred to an alternative Commuter Rail train, and the impacted train set will be sent to a maintenance facility as part of an investigation.”

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2021

Categories: News, Regional News