Trestle Fire Near Sacramento

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by Torpedo, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

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  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Reminds me of the "good news/bad news" trestle fire on one of UP's lines a few years ago... I think a link was posted here at The Gauge. It went something like:

    Bad news - hot box
    Good news - detected and stopped the train
    Bad news - COAL train stopped on wood trestle
    Good news - Fire fighters arrive
    Bad news - it's the middle of nowhere and the fire fighters' equipment is a truck and a hose...

    Andrew
  3. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    Well, there weren't any coal trains (we don't really get those in California) and the fire was right next to a river, so fire-boats were dispatched which could pump river water directly onto one end of the fire, and land-based fire units were able to set up serial pumper trucks to get water from the closest hydrant to the other end of the fire. The trestle, built in 1912, was a total loss, but they are already working on the replacement bridge. I have been on that trestle a few times, riding the California Zephyr. It's sad to lose a nice old wood trestle. It's also kind of amazing to see UP working so fast--normally they have that glacial slowness.

    It was pretty exciting to see--the huge plume of smoke was something you just couldn't miss. Fortunately, there were no winds and the brush around the trestle was fairly green, so the fire didn't really spread the way it could have if it had happened in summer!
  4. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

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    I love the old wooden trertles, that is a shame. Wish you had pictures.

    Rick
  5. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

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    A similar trestle fire, also in Northern California, almost killed the Sacramento Northern back when it was a going interurban. That creosote soaked timber burns all too well.
  6. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    When and where was that trestle fire? The most dramatic trestle event I know about on the SN was the collapse of the Arcade Trestle in the 1950s, thanks to a too-heavy steel train, that ended electrification in that segment of the line.
  7. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

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    I think you are right. It was a collapse, not a fire. The old memory ain't what it used to be. :oops:
  8. jasbourre

    jasbourre Member

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  9. jetrock

    jetrock Member

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    That's the one mentioned in the OP...I didn't have to watch a slideshow, I could see the smoke from my house.

    The Arcade Trestle collapse was pretty dramatic, but that was in the fifties--passenger service was long gone and the SN had a gaggle of diesels, as well as what they could borrow from WP. The collapse also resulted in the heaviest SN freight train, the SN Detour, which continued SN steel-train service via the ATSF mainline to Stockton, then up the WP mainline to Sacramento.

    Supposedly the former SP trestle should be back in action, at least as a single-track line, in two weeks, with the second track shortly thereafter. I haven't noticed too much more traffic on the WP mainline through town, but they might be trying to run a lot of trains at night to avoid disrupting traffic.
  10. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

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    For those interested, here is a good write up on that SN trestle collapse, complete with pictures.