Locomotive fire near Sibley causes hours-long blockage on Highway 9 – KIWARadio.com


Sibley, Iowa– A state highway was blocked for three to four hours after a reported fire in a locomotive Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, near Sibley.

According to Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls, at around 7:20 p.m. the Sibley Fire Department was called to report a locomotive fire just north of Highway 9 and old Route 60, two miles north of Sibley.

Chief says when they arrived there was no fire. He says the engineer told him there had been a malfunction inside the engine and he pushed the flame out of the exhaust. Huls tells us that it was not a front locomotive, but an auxiliary locomotive in the middle of the 12,000 foot train. (That’s 2.2 miles.) He says firefighters went over the top of the locomotive with their thermal imager to make sure there were no hot spots left.

Huls says the biggest problem was that the rear half of the train was blocking Highway 9 and the locomotive was standing still. He says the head of the train drove to Worthington, Minnesota, where they left the front half of the train, then the lead locomotives backed up to the scene to pick up the rest of the train. In the meantime, Huls said he called the Department for Transport’s traffic management center in Ankeny to tell them they would have to set up a temporary detour for Highway 9, which he said involved the L40 and the boulevard du Nord-Ouest for three to four hours.

Huls says no injuries were reported. He says it’s not known precisely what caused the flames, other than a malfunction in the locomotive engine. No damage estimate was available.

He says the firefighters who responded remained at the scene for about 20 minutes.


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