Officials from the Utah Transit Authority were trying to figure out what caused one of their TRAX trains to catch fire early Tuesday, delaying service for two hours right before the morning commute was getting started.
Just before 4 a.m. there was some sort of power malfunction, like a bump, surge or outage, said UTA spokeswoman Carrie Bohnsack-Ware.
At about 5 a.m. as the first train of the day was rolling out from the yard where all the trains are stored near 700 West and 7000 South, the overhead cable the trains connect to caught fire. The cable and the top of the train were damaged in the fire. The blaze did not damage any of the interior of the TRAX train and no one was injured, Bohnsack-Ware said. The conductor was the only person on board at the time.
"We've never had anything like this happen before," she said.
Originally it was thought the earlier power problem was the cause of the fire. But as of 8 a.m. Bohnsack-Ware said it was all being reassessed and officials weren't ready to pinpoint a cause yet.
Unfortunately, the train caught fire on the 30 to 40-foot section of rail that connects the train barn to the main line. All of the trains were now blocked from getting out, she said.
It took between two to two-and-a-half hours to get the train off the track and the damaged cable replaced. Bohnsack-Ware said even getting it done that quickly required every available body UTA had.
While the line was being repaired, buses went to all the TRAX stations to pick up riders.
"It's not a perfect system. But we're doing are being to try to alleviate the problem," she said.By 7:15 a.m., all the city and University TRAX lines were up and running again.
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