A train engine caught fire as the multi-car freighter made its way through Riverside late this afternoon, prompting authorities to shut down railroad tracks going in both directions and bringing all cargo and commuter train traffic to a halt. The fire was reported around 4:30 p.m. on a northbound locomotive as it passed Tyler Street, according to the Riverside Fire Department. Witnesses reported seeing flames coming from underneath the last car of the train, which turned out to be one of the engines, a fire department spokesman said.The train crew stopped the freighter between Jefferson and Madison streets so firefighters could take a look. According to reports from the scene, the engine was smoldering and would have to be deactivated before the train could resume travel.
Burlington Santa Fe Railroad shut down tracks in both directions for the safety of emergency personnel. Metrolink commuter trains and freight trains attempting to reach or pass through the city were stopped. The closure was expected to last about an hour.