Smoke causes evacuation of FrontRunner train

Published: Saturday, Dec. 29 2012 9:42 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — The cabin of a FrontRunner train filled with smoke while it was bound for Salt Lake Central Station Saturday night, forcing the operator to stop the full train.

UTA spokesman Gerry Carpenter said the train was about four miles south of Murray Central Station when the cabin of the locomotive filled with smoke. The operator was instructed to stop the train and exit, allowing the smoke to clear.

No smoke was detected in passenger areas of the train and riders were allowed to stay on board, Carpenter said. When the operator was allowed to enter the train, he found no evidence of flames or fire damage.

"It appears to have been minor," he said. "There's no property damage to speak of."

Upon arriving at Salt Lake Central, passengers continuing north were transferred to a different train and the driver was evaluated by medical personnel. 

"When you're carrying hundreds of people, you can't be too safe," Carpenter said.

Delays at Salt Lake Central lasted about 45 minutes, with residual delays continuing along the line. Passengers who had been evacuated from the train said UTA failed to provide an estimate of when a new train would arrive, leaving them standing in the cold for nearly an hour.

"We asked for an ETA for the next train so we could get some of these people out of the cold weather and they just wouldn't give it to us," said passenger Rick Maners before hurrying onto the arriving train. "It just kind of ticked me off."

McKenzie Romero

Twitter: @McKenzieRomero

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