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Fire near Elephant and Castle Station

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Cdd89

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This was in one of the arches under the station, preceded by a loud bang. No trains running through.

This appears to have been contained thankfully (but still a lot of smoke!).
 

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Saint66

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Latest update from the fire service is that it involves 3 units under the arches.

Might be a while until NR can get in and inspect any damage!
 

Peter C

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From @LondonFire (London Fire Brigade) on Twitter:
Ten fire engines and around 70 firefighters are attending a fire at railway arches near to #ElephantCastle railway station. Please avoid the area and close all doors and windows

Please follow this Twitter account for up to date information about the #ElephantCastle fire.

Three commercial units underneath the railway arches are completely alight and four cars and a telephone box are also alight near #ElephantandCastle Railway Station. Road closures are in place and people are advised to avoid the area and keep windows and doors closed

-Peter
 

ScotGG

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There's a lot of MOT arches there and it seems to be from them. Gas cannisters on site?
 

deltic

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Quite an intense fire by the looks of some of the pictures on Twitter, its on my walk to work route so interesting to see what the damage is tomorrow
 

deltic

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The London Fire Brigade picture shows remarkably little damage to the cars parked outside the arches that were on fire - I was expecting them to be burnt out
 

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thedbdiboy

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It appears a separate issue is now causing also problems in the Thameslink core. One of those days to completely avoid that part of the network.
 

najaB

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The London Fire Brigade picture shows remarkably little damage to the cars parked outside the arches that were on fire - I was expecting them to be burnt out
If it was acetylene then it creates a lot of smoke but not much heat when burned in air. Mix it with pure oxygen though and it'll literally melt steel.
 

Cdd89

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There appears to be some damage to the tracks. Earlier there were fire crews and network rail walking the line, now just NR.
 

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Cdd89

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I can't see anything obvious. Where?
Ah, it’s not very clear in the photo! There’s a darker patch, and also some red discolouration on the rails (visible in the photo, but might be mistaken for the light reflecting).

Nobody has been inspecting platforms 1 and 2 though, so maybe they can reopen those lines sooner.
 

Saint66

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Lines expected to be closed the rest of the day at least. Probable signalling damage.
 

Mojo

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Rail temperatures were around 150 degrees and part of the platform had melted too. Concerns over possible fires in the voids given the number of hot spots so parts of the platform are being opened up to check.

The garage itself was a accident repair type establishment, with a few canisters inside, oxygen and other gases. There were at least three explosions.
 

philosopher

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Rail temperatures were around 150 degrees and part of the platform had melted too. Concerns over possible fires in the voids given the number of hot spots so parts of the platform are being opened up to check.

The garage itself was a accident repair type establishment, with a few canisters inside, oxygen and other gases. There were at least three explosions.
Why do Network Rail allow workshops that use quite a few flammable substances in these arches?
 

Wolfie

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Why do Network Rail allow workshops that use quite a few flammable substances in these arches?
Given that Network Rail sold the spaces in the arches on several years ago l'm not sure that they have any control now.
 

Bletchleyite

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Given that Network Rail sold the spaces in the arches on several years ago l'm not sure that they have any control now.

Most likely they would be "sold" leasehold, and the lease may well contain stipulations on not having things there that would pose a threat to the railway.
 

Wolfie

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Most likely they would be "sold" leasehold, and the lease may well contain stipulations on not having things there that would pose a threat to the railway.
You may be right but l'm not wholly sure. Neither the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee nor the National Audit Office were overly impressed though....

 

Mojo

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Most likely they would be "sold" leasehold, and the lease may well contain stipulations on not having things there that would pose a threat to the railway.
I’m pretty sure looking at the age of the sign of the premises and historical Streetview images I’d say even when they were under direct control they would have been there. Given the number of already vacant arches there across the railway perhaps the thought is that they can’t afford to be too picky, especially that it seems in my experience a significant number of the railway arches in South London at least seem to be car garages of various types.
 

najaB

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Ah, it’s not very clear in the photo! There’s a darker patch, and also some red discolouration on the rails (visible in the photo, but might be mistaken for the light reflecting).
I could see the dark patch, but assumed that was more sooting than necessarily damage.
 

Mojo

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Network Rail have advised on Twitter no structural issues following ultrasonics and checks of the infrastructure (Civils) seem all fine. Main focus is on the damaged signalling cables.
 

Railwaysceptic

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. . . it seems in my experience a significant number of the railway arches in South London at least seem to be car garages of various types.
That's also true north of the river. Many of the occupants of the arches at Forest Gate, Leytonstone and Leyton under the elevated stretch of the line between Barking and Gospel Oak are car servicing companies.
 

Dave W

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I'm speculating, but I figure it's because they're a tall, wide space with easy access - so you could put a lift in there quite easily and still have space for storage - thus being a popular option for prospective garage owners. Of course in Bermondsey a lot of arches are full of beer 8-)

I thought I'd read that Network Rail were investigating the safety of businesses in their arches for something just like this, but I can't find the article now.
 

Mikey C

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Railway arches have been used for car repair shops for decades, as they're perfect for that sort of dirty, noisy work. My car gets fixed in an arch under the Northern Line!
 

deltic

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Walked past the site this morning, fire brigade still in attendance, lots of electicity contractors at work, the arches themselves seem undamaged, cars parked outside have lost windows and some blackening but not as damaged as you might expect given the fire ball that appeared on videos
 
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