Tehachapi Flame Out
Seems the engineer was unaware of fire on the designated power unit!
Fire consumes BNSF DPU #4309 which was most likely suffering an oil seal break.
When a fire breaks out in a locomotive, the cause can be electric, oil, or fuel related.
In this case, if the fire is being fed by consuming its own lubricating oil from the sump, it just keeps burning and the engine keeps running (like a runaway) until it is all gone. At this point, the real danger is blowing a piston or rod which would be catastrophic.
Locomotives are considered a rolling hazmat to firefighters with a fuel tank capacity of 5,500 gallons of diesel fuel, 410 gallons of lubrication oil, and 380 gallons of cooling water.
Let us know if you have ever witnessed a “flame out” of a diesel locomotive or have ever seen anything like this in person. We would love to hear about your experience!