Siemens Charger battery fire briefly halts 'Hiawatha'

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A Siemens Charger locomotive occupies the trailing position on a southbound Hiawatha train on Aug. 4. A battery caught fire in a Charger locomotive on a Hiawatha on Tuesday.
Chris Guss
CHICAGO — Siemens is investigating the cause of a battery fire in one of its Charger locomotives that halted an Amtrak Hiawatha train Tuesday evening.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a southbound Milwaukee to Chicago Hiawatha stopped near the city's Irving Park neighborhood for a report of an electrical fire. No injuries were reported.

An Amtrak representative confirms with Trains News Wire that the fire was in the battery box of a new Charger locomotive and was "quickly extinguished." Two Charger locomotives are being tested on the passenger line. They are currently in trailing or secondary positions on the trainsets which also include passenger cars, cab-baggage cars, and a GE-built P42 Genesis locomotive. The Siemens locomotives are required to perform lengthy run-in tests before being accepted for full service on state-sponsored Amtrak routes.

A Siemens representative declined to comment beyond Amtrak's statement.

The Sun-Times story is online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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