The Story of a Very, Very, Very Hot Hotbox.

Back in 2002, a Union Pacific coal train near Sharon Springs, Kansas, stopped when a journal bearing went bad causing the car near the middle of the train to derail.

The crew stopped the train and walked a half mile or so back to assess the problem. As bad luck would have it, the derailed coal car was sitting on a bridge which, like the crossties under the rails, had been constructed with wooden beams treated with creosote. The red hot bearing had come to rest on the tracks, the ties had been set afire and … well, the photos tell the story.

There are stories of this incident circulating on the internet and one falsely claims that the Union Pacific dispatcher refused to allow the crew to move the train off the bridge because rules prohibit moving a train with a defect … proving once again that emails with startling “information” should routinely be checked with the good folks at It’s amazing how often those sensational emails turn out to be wrong … and even more often, especially, on political topics, deliberately faked. So internet surfers beware!