Dumpster fire on wheels delays Providence Line, Amtrak

Train car on fire in Mansfield

Photo by Mansfield Police.

A freight car full of construction debris on the Northeast Corridor tracks in Mansfield erupted into flames around 4:30 a.m., Mansfield Police report.

Crews were able to maneuver the flaming car from the area of the Rte. 140 crossing to tracks off County Street, where the thing was still on fire as of 6:30 a.m.



    Free tagging: 


    Perhaps this is a clue

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    I have a bit of a trash obsession. When I see a dumpster, I always wonder, "Where do they take this and what happens to it?" Will it go to an incinerator or straight to a landfill? If it's construction debris, does it eventually get sorted and end up in different places? I once saw a dumpster full of old office chairs. Do they end up in the same place as my burrito wrapper?

    This stuff seems to be headed "away" somewhere. Where does it go and what happens to it at it's destination? Do they burn the scrap lumber?

    So many questions!


    Trash gets burned from Cape Cod down at SEMASS in Rochester. It gets taken there by train of Cape so as not to have trucks on Route 6.

    I believe the one in Lynn next to River Works is trash burning as well. Both produce electricity from the waste burning.

    A lot of wooden construction debris (houses torn down) used to go or may still go to Wood Recycling up off Route 1 in Peabody (Behind Green Recycling). I believe hydroseeding and wood chips were some of the byproducts from the debris.

    A lot of straight trash from around here goes to a landfill in the nether regions of upstate NY as well.

    Still a lot of trash just get filled in around here. There are still active landfills in Randolph (always a rotten egg smell, always), Chicopee, and I believe Charlton for mounds of trash.

    RI got smart a few years ago and has a statewide landfill in Johnston. You can see it from the Braga Bridge in Fall River it is so tall. It's probably the third or fourth highest point in the state.

    Where does trash come from and go?

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    These freight cars are construction and demolition ("C&D") debris, NOT Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). C&D is what you imagine by the description, and specifically excludes household 'trash,' which is Municipal Solid Waste.

    The primary sources for C&D in railcars that we're talking about here are two facilities in Brockton MA:
    Trojan (71 Forest Street)
    Champion (138 Wilder Street)

    You can zoom in on Google Maps to see the freight cars spotted at those businesses.

    How do C&D cars end up in Mansfield? This is where it gets fun. These freight cars are all handled by CSX, which has the rights to service these (and almost all) rail customers in Southeastern Massachusetts. And actually for our purposes here that's defined roughly as anything east of Milford Ma and south of the Mass Pike, with the exception of Cape Cod (MSW on the Cape is handled by Mass Coastal). We digress.

    Anyway, after being loaded, our C&D cars from Brockton go like this:
    Brockton -> Middleboro
    Middleboro -> Attleboro
    Attleboro -> Mansfield (THIS IS THE 7 mile section where they run on the Northeast Corridor / Providence MBTA line)
    Mansfield -> Framingham
    Framingham -> Selkirk / Albany NY

    ...the more you know....

    Dave Perry

    and actually I have no idea

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    and actually I have no idea where the C&D cars go after Albany / Selkirk, or what happens to the C&D. But I would guess it goes to a landfill somewhere.

    Sources indicate the root

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    Sources indicate the root cause of the fire was overloaded materials in the freight car which were tall enough to contact the electric catenary wire, causing a short / spark that started the fire.


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    It smelled like a nice wood fire.

    Obvious Joke

    I didn't think anyone from the White House was headed to Boston today.

    there is actually a light

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    there is actually a light orange net that is over the cars to prevent stuff from blowing out. But...see my other comment above

    You are such a special boy!

    You really made a nice three-headed gopher. That was so clever! Now be nice - don't send Finn to the cornfield before the Cabinet Meeting!