Train fire between Lee and Mottingham.

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Temple

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Just saw some Tweets and it appears there's a fire on a Southeastern metro train, either a 465/466, between Lee and Mottingham.

From what I can work out, the driver evacuated the train and the passengers are now standing on the tracks... and apparently the track is still live. Check out these pictures...

https://p.twimg.com/AvS-YLhCQAEosNT.jpg:large

https://p.twimg.com/AvS-w-9CMAIhcbZ.jpg

I hope the live rail is not that side of the train.

UPDATE: Looks like it's 2N72, the 20:52 CHX - GRV.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18436708
BBC News said:
Fire forces 200 to leave train

Up to 200 passengers were forced to leave a train in south-east London after a small fire on board.


Nobody was reported to have been injured in the incident which is said to have involved a fire under a train at Mottingham.


A spokesperson for the London Ambulance Service said its staff checked over a number of passengers at the scene.


The London Fire Brigade was called but it is understood the fire was already out by the time crews arrived.


Southeastern Trains said on its website that train services through Hither Green and Sidcup were subject to delays, cancellations or revision at short notice because of the incident.


Buses are being used to take passengers between Lewisham and Dartford until further notice, it said.


Transport has also been laid on to take passengers between Lee and Dartford until the situation had been resolved.
 
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jopsuk

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surely when the driver evacuated the train he'd have called the ECS and for good measure dropped on the short circuit bar? Passengers may well have been told not to step on the rail anyway, throughout the entire country the safe evacuation advice is "never step on any rails".
 

Temple

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surely when the driver evacuated the train he'd have called the ECS and for good measure dropped on the short circuit bar? Passengers may well have been told not to step on the rail anyway, throughout the entire country the safe evacuation advice is "never step on any rails".

I would have thought this too and imagine that has happened.. but one passenger has said they were "...advised to stay next to train and not pass it as track is still live..". Probably just precaution from driver, but can only go on what passengers say.
 

ushawk

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Looking at the location and with the embankment - it does look as is the 3rd rail would be on the other side. Police and Fire Service on scene according to Twitter. Would have though the power would be shut off by now too.
 

jopsuk

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I would have thought this too and imagine that has happened.. but one passenger has said they were "...advised to stay next to train and not pass it as track is still live..". Probably just precaution from driver, but can only go on what passengers say.

Safety first- better to keep the passengers there than have them roam. Scaring them a bit can help!
 

ushawk

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Looking at the pictures, i believe the train is stuck on the bridge over the Sidcup Road - could be wrong of course. Makes for good access by the emergency services.
 

Temple

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Looking at the pictures, i believe the train is stuck on the bridge over the Sidcup Road - could be wrong of course. Makes for good access by the emergency services.

Just looked on Google Street View and yes, it's on the down line above Sidcup Road.
 

tsr

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Stuck between the third rail, a burning train and a busy road on an overgrown railway embankment and a bridge is, shall we say, not the safest situation, to put it mildly, so it's a big "well done" to the train crew, NR and the emergency services if nobody got injured.

On the other hand, the train doesn't seem to exactly be well-alight, so I wonder where the fire was and how quickly it was extinguished (or even put itself out).
 

Temple

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Stuck between the third rail, a burning train and a busy road on an overgrown railway embankment and a bridge is, shall we say, not the safest situation, to put it mildly, so it's a big "well done" to the train crew, NR and the emergency services if nobody got injured.

On the other hand, the train doesn't seem to exactly be well-alight, so I wonder where the fire was and how quickly it was extinguished (or even put itself out).

Oh absolutely. No injuries were reported so a huge well done to all. In one picture there's a smokey haze, so I should imagine it was a small fire probably under the train.
 

Sabre999uk

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London Fire Brigade Twitter says small fire under train 200 persons evacuated, London Ambulance Service says 126 persons & no injures.

Steve
 

mickyboyno1

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I was on this train. Would like to say.......
The driver didn't say a single thing to any of the passengers before or after the evacuation of our carriage. We were on the third from front and past the bridge in earlier pictures. After helping everyone from the carriage my friend and I walked past the drivers carriage to see flames coming from what looked like the brake lines or cabling near there. Drive had left his cab as we walked past to check if he was ok and was still nowhere to be seen!! I find this shocking he couldn't even manage an announcement to explain a situation. Well done to the emergency services, but I did not use these as we walked down the tracks to Mottingham and got a lift home.
 

tsr

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I was on this train. Would like to say.......
The driver didn't say a single thing to any of the passengers before or after the evacuation of our carriage. We were on the third from front and past the bridge in earlier pictures. After helping everyone from the carriage my friend and I walked past the drivers carriage to see flames coming from what looked like the brake lines or cabling near there. Drive had left his cab as we walked past to check if he was ok and was still nowhere to be seen!! I find this shocking he couldn't even manage an announcement to explain a situation. Well done to the emergency services, but I did not use these as we walked down the tracks to Mottingham and got a lift home.

Out of interest, were you guided down the tracks, or did you walk down on your own initiative? Obviously without guidance that's rather a dangerous thing to do, although I am by no means saying you actually did act dangerously.

Was the evacuation controlled by automated announcements (I'm not sure if that feature is available on those trains...)?

I suspect the driver was laying detonators and using other safety devices (including to remove some of the hazards of the traction current) as appropriate to protect your train, and was further down the line doing so, thus unavailable to talk to you. Unfortunately with few staff on trains, I can see there can be a hard choice to be made between closing the line so no trains can get near passengers and the alternative, which is to briefly check for injuries and inform passengers of the incident.

Your description is rather interesting - thank you, and welcome to the forums!
 

Temple

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I was on this train. Would like to say.......
The driver didn't say a single thing to any of the passengers before or after the evacuation of our carriage. We were on the third from front and past the bridge in earlier pictures. After helping everyone from the carriage my friend and I walked past the drivers carriage to see flames coming from what looked like the brake lines or cabling near there. Drive had left his cab as we walked past to check if he was ok and was still nowhere to be seen!! I find this shocking he couldn't even manage an announcement to explain a situation. Well done to the emergency services, but I did not use these as we walked down the tracks to Mottingham and got a lift home.

Really? Well, that isn't ideal in the situation. It's not an excuse, but the driver could have been checking the train was evac'd or he could have been doing other things like making sure traction current was off or safety checks (he might not have been, of course). Not an excuse for the lack of communication though. From what you're saying, I assume then that some made their way down the embankment and others walked up the line then?

Finally, this is the aftermath. Small, isolated fire by the appearance, but could have been worse. https://p.twimg.com/AvTXRdsCAAIs8Sj.jpg
 

87 027

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I would have been on that train but (perhaps luckily) was delayed getting to LBG, although I got caught up in the disruption afterwards.

Out of interest if there were no announcements what was the trigger for the evacuation onto the tracks? I ask in the light of the RAIB report on the FCC incident in May 2011 in the tunnels between St Pancras and Kentish Town

Update: don't the SE control room have the ability to take over the PA on trains - I've experienced this before, in the severe snow disruption a few winters ago. Maybe that was it?
 
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kpslick

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I was on the train.

I can confirm that there were no announcments and zero communication from the driver. Someone pulled the emergency stop and once we came to a hault, everyone opened the doors and jumped out. There was a LOT of smoke and the glare from the flames was bouncing off the trees along side the tracks. It was clearly visible even from half way down the train before we even got off.

It immediately smelt of an electrical fire and people were starting to panic becuase it was making a lot of noise, as electrical fires do. It sooned died down after we all got out.

It was the collector shoe assembley - burnt out. See pic.

Everyone stood by the side of the train for about 20mins with no communication from anyone, so people just started walking down the tracks towards Mottingham station. Pretty soon the EMS arrived and began ushering passengers down towards Mottingham. About a 50-60 of us went to Mottingham and the rest were apparently shuffled down the bank.
 

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87 027

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Blimey. Doesn't sound good. I don't want to prejudge anything but I wonder if there will be repercussions for SET?
 

CR

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Hiya

I was on that train in the last carriage. The train stopped a few minutes after we left Lee and all the lights and electricity on the train went off immediately. There was a strong smell of smoke and we were right over the bridge/road. We stayed in the carriage and saw other people getting out from all the other carriages, quite a lot of smoke and numerous police, fire and ambulances arrive. There were no announcements eventually so someone opened the door but it was quite a big drop onto the bridge.

After a while someone came along and told us to stay in the train and then a bit later people in yellow jackets arrived and helped lift (literally) us off the train. It was very kind of them. By this time the tracks had been turned off and a chain of emergency workers was formed and helped us all across the tracks and down a very steep embankment - straight to the next door pub ;)

I spoke to someone who had been near the front and they said they had seen a fireball hurl up into the sky so maybe it was something electrical? I waited around for a while but then decided to walk home to Mottingham. Just as I was leaving they were saying the train manager was going to come and speak to the passengers and replacement buses would probably be put on, but I'd left, along with a load of other people, by the time that happened.

I can understand why some people further up the train might have got off before we heard anything. We were waiting a pretty long time without any announcements while the strong smell of smoke increased and all the energency services arrived. It was pretty scary! Services responded well though I think - they didn't know what was happening either and as soon as they could they came and helped evacuate us all.
 

BestWestern

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Regarding the lack of communication - welcome to the harsh reality of DOO (Driver Only Operation). Incidents like this are where it all falls down, as having only one trained member of staff means that the procedures come first and the passengers come last. No time to make any announcements, offer any assistance or help out in any way whatsoever, as the Driver is required to go and protect his train. Too bad if you panic and leap out into the path of another train, stand on the third rail or fall from the door somebody has opened and break your legs, if you're unlucky enough to be a passenger on board you make your own choices and hope for the best. It is incredible luck - and nothing else - that nobody came to serious grief here, an uncontrolled evacuation on DOO followed by a large group of unsupervised passengers lineside has the potential to turn into a very bad day. But never mind, at least it saves the train operator a few quid. Give it a few years and, if they get their way, this will be norm for most trains. A very worrying prospect indeed :(
 
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SF-02

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There's been a few fires on Southeastern over the past few months. One was in Sevenoaks in April - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-17797030 and another Gravesend/Dartford way. And this after a £45m refurb has just been completed. Anyone heard of what has been causing them? I wondered if the Railways Inspectorate have published anything?
 

Temple

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Not sure if it's the cause, but I remember 465s when they were re-painted, some weren't given the motor covers because of over-heating issues. Could that have caused the fire? (Although it doesn't look like a motor fire)

Or, if it was a problem with the shoe gear as someone said, could the train have hit an obstruction on the line to cause that and the subsequent fire?

Just thinking of possible causes, it could be neither of those.
 

SF-02

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Just googled and found this about the southeastern fire from February at Gravesend http://trainwatch.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=847

Kent Fire Brigade said:
Time 20:40
Stop Time 21:25
Title Crews tackle passenger train fire at Gravesend Station
Location Gravesend Station, Rathmore Road, Gravesend.
Attendance 7 fire engines, a command support unit and a water unit.

Details Firefighters have been dealing with a fire on a passenger train at Gravesend station. A small fire limited to cabling under the train was extinguished by crews working in conjunction with Network Rail engineers.

There are no reports of any injuries.

Not a lot of info there. Just mentions cabling under train. It would be very interesting to see the results of investigations into these fires
 

richw

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We've 3 comments from passengers, all say no announcements, 1 says all lights and electrics went out, if no electrics would this not take out the pa system anyway, having no electric?
 

tsr

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We've 3 comments from passengers, all say no announcements, 1 says all lights and electrics went out, if no electrics would this not take out the pa system anyway, having no electric?

I'm not sure about these units, but I imagine there should be power for emergency lighting, any necessary ventilation and an emergency PA system for between 50 and 90 minutes, although PAs have been known to cut off before then.
 

87 027

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Absolutely no criticism of the driver implied or intended, as we don't know the detail of the incident, and for all we know at this stage he/she may have been doing their utmost to protect the train. But uncontrolled evacuation of passengers onto (allegedly) live tracks surely can't be a good thing?
 

Temple

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I thought most EMUs had electric batteries to provide emergency lighting and the likes for 90 minutes? Although emergency lighting is normally only minimal.

Whilst all electricity from the third rail would be lost, these batteries would kick in.

Not sure if the batteries provide electricity for PA systems though in emergencies?
 

ushawk

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We've 3 comments from passengers, all say no announcements, 1 says all lights and electrics went out, if no electrics would this not take out the pa system anyway, having no electric?

Wouldnt surprise me if the PA system was down, and the main priotity of the driver is to get a block put on the lines, lay detonators and notify his control room/signallers to request emergency services. Only after that can evacuating take place. Looks like it was 2 units joined together, so i would have thought only the unit which had the fire would have to be evacuated, with pax remaining in the rear unit. Whats also worrying is how close pax were to the fire, as shown in the 2 pictures. Someone posted there was a "fireball", if for some reason it was to ignite again - you could be talking about a lot of casualties.

Really doesnt surprise me some pax went for a "wander" up an electrified railway line - after all, the train is running in London. This is the downside of DOO, would have been easier if there was a guard/train crew on board. Absolutely no chance of TOCs going back to using guards either all down to the cost.
 

RBaggley

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I too was on the train, and can confirm all that the other passengers have said.

Yes, we did make our own way down the track to Mottingham, but we were all extremely careful to not go anywhere near the 3rd rail; it was a pretty nervy/scary experience but the train was still on fire a little at that point and we didn't want to be anywhere near a burning train.

I appreciate that it probably wasn't the right thing to have done.......but as nobody told us what the right thing was, what were we to do?
 
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