It was a normal day in Sharon Springs, Kansas when a Union Pacific crew boarded a loaded coal train for the long trek back to Salina.
Just a few kilometres into the trip, a wheel bearing became over heated and melted off letting the truck support drop down and thus causing it to grind along the rail creating white hot molten metal droppings that spewed down onto the rails.
The good news is that a very alert and safety-conscious crew noticed the smoke halfway back on the train and immediately stopped it moving in compliance with rules.
The bad news is that the train just happened to stop with its molten wheels on top of a wooden trestle bridge with creosoted ties, bents and trusses. Combine that with the fact it was fully laden with coal and that’s where the fun really begins!
The pictures tell the rest of the story...