Chesterton Tribune



Fire on roof of South Shore car forces evacuation here

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A South Shore commuter train was evacuated at Dune Park Station late on Sunday, after a fire broke out in a pantograph atop one of the cars, the Porter Fire Department is reporting.

Assistant Chief Dan Branham told the Chesterton Tribune today that, at 10:40 p.m., the PFD was dispatched to Dune Park Station in response to a report of an electrical fire on top of eastbound Train 511, which had stopped approximately 150 yards west of the station platform. On their arrival, firefighters found the pantograph--the apparatus which collects power from the overhead concatenary wire and communicates it to the train--burning on the roof of the train’s second car.

Branham said that the PFD--assisted at the scene by the Chesterton FD--used a chemical extinguisher to douse the fire.

Around 70 passengers were on board the train at the time and they were in the process of being evacuated when firefighters responded. No one was injured in the incident, Branham said. The PFD cleared the scene at 11:45 p.m.

The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District was working today to determine the cause of the “electrical flash” in the pantograph, NICTD spokesperson Nicole Barker told the Tribune. “There’s a great deal of due diligence to be done to get to the root of the incident,” she said.

The affected car itself was moved early this morning to the South Shore maintenance yard in Michigan City for investigation and repairs, Barker noted. Some repairs were also performed on the overhead concantenary wire, which necessitated the busing of passengers on the day’s first westbound train, No. 102, from Michigan City to Ogden Dunes. The second westbound train, however, No. 104, ran direct from Michigan City and arrived in Chicago some 30 minutes late.

There were minor delays throughout the morning but regular service was expected for the remainder of the day, Barker added.



Posted 1/15/2018




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