Amtrak Train Evacuated in Milwaukee After Catching Fire

AP Photo/Saurabh Das

An Amtrak train car caught fire in Milwaukee Thursday afternoon, sending passengers scrambling and bringing firefighters to bear.

The fire was contained to the locomotive on a Milwaukee-bound train out of Chicago carrying 51 passengers.

Firefighters responded to the fire around noon on Thursday.

Video from WISN’s news copter showed that the fire burned through the top of the locomotive but was contained there after firefighters sprayed fire retardant foam on the engine.

The entire train was evacuated for the sake of safety, and the train tracks were also shut down while first responders performed their duties.

This is the second accident in only a few days for Amtrak. Still, the rail line’s safety record seems to have improved over the last decade.

According to The Washington Post, “[Amtrak] accidents due to track problems have fallen by two thirds since 2000, while accidents caused by human error have roughly halved over that period. But accidents due to equipment problems–train cars and engines–are essentially flat after a brief rise in the mid-2000s. But again, numbers in the late 80s and early 90s were slightly lower.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.