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Steam & Excursion > Knox & Kane RR arson on Sunday, Kane, PA


Date: 03/17/08 07:16
Knox & Kane RR arson on Sunday, Kane, PA
Author: aottinger

Not good news from Kane, PA, home to the former Knox-Kane Railroad.

http://www.bradfordera.com/articles/2008/03/17/news/doc47dddf1dd9a36852794356.txt

Arson fire in Kane causes $1 million in damage, severely burns two locomotives once used for Kinzua Bridge State Park tourist trips


By ADAM VOSLER
Era Reporter

An arson fire early Sunday at a Biddle Street building in Kane caused $1 million in damage and severely burned two locomotives that were once used for Kinzua Bridge State Park tourist trips.

Investigators found that someone forcibly entered a warehouse about 2:15 a.m. and set it on fire, according to a press release issued by Kane-based state police.

No injuries were reported, officials said.

The building contained two steam locomotives owned by B. Sloan Cornell of Marienville …#8221; one a diesel locomotive and the other a luxury dining car built in the 1890s and restored in the 1930s, police said. The structure, whose owner was not immediately clear, also held numerous locomotive parts and railroad-related equipment.

The metal structure was a one-story, 44 foot-by-160 foot railroad car storage building, police said. It suffered heavy damage, as did the two trains, according to Kane Volunteer Fire Department Chief Art Brechtel. He was unsure if the trains were a total loss.

Upon arrival, fire crews found heavy smoke and flames coming from the warehouse, Brechtel accounted.

“Crews did a good job on the initial knockdown of the fire,” he said.

Firefighters came back to the scene at 9:57 a.m. when the fire rekindled, though Brechtel called it nothing serious.

Mount Jewett, Highland Township, Sheffield, Ludlow, Kane, Hamlin Township, Wilcox and Ridgway volunteer firefighters all responded to the scene. Cpl. Thomas E. Josephson, a state police fire marshal, worked with Kane Volunteer Fire Department and Kane Borough Police in the investigation. A police dog even joined the response.

Kane Borough Police will continue the investigation.

The affected trains once provided tourists with a trip from Marienville, with a stop in Kane to pick up passengers, to Kinzua Bridge and through nearby forestland. After 17 years, Knox & Kane Railroad, also owned by Cornell, stopped offering scenic train rides to the park due to a lack of interest following the Kinzua Bridge’s fall.

Kinzua Bridge, located in Mount Jewett, was hammered by a tornado July 21, 2003, resulting in the loss of 11 support towers. The internationally recognized viaduct was constructed in 1882, “the longest and highest railroad bridge in the world” upon its completion, according to www.kinzuabridge.com.

The potential loss of the trains would be another blow to ongoing Kinzua Bridge State Park restoration processes, according to Mary Ann Burggraf, executive director of the Kinzua Bridge Foundation.

The potential loss of the trains would be another blow to ongoing Kinzua Bridge State Park restoration processes, according to Mary Ann Burggraf, executive director of the Kinzua Bridge Foundation.

“Any negative event that takes place is a detriment to the park ... whether its the development (efforts) or anything (else),” she said.

It is unclear if the trains were going to be used at the park again. However, talk of running the train from Kane to Mount Jewett had come up recently.

“We’re in support of it,” Burggraf said.

John Hafer, who takes care of the trains for Cornell, his grandfather, confirmed the idea had been contemplated, though Sunday’s fire has brought any action to a standstill.

“A lot of things changed after this morning,” he said.

A message left seeking comment from Bill Kilmer and Debbie Lunden, who are both involved with the Kinzua Bridge Foundation, were not immediately returned Sunday night. Meanwhile, an e-mail seeking comment from Allegheny National Forest Vacation Bureau Executive Director Linda Devlin also wasn’t immediately returned.



Date: 03/17/08 11:59
Re: Knox & Kane RR arson on Sunday, Kane, PA
Author: wingomann

If it is a "metal structure one-story, 44 foot-by-160 foot railroad car storage building" then how did it burn? Was there a bunch of flamables left laying around? Was it insulated and the insulation burned? If it was bare metal then it wouldn't have burned. It would be good to get better details to get the word out so that other organizations can make sure that their facilities are as fire proof as possible.



Date: 03/17/08 15:50
Re: Knox & Kane RR arson on Sunday, Kane, PA
Author: NormSchultze

Two Words: Sprinkler System. When will preservationists learn that fire surpression IS preservation ! Has happened a lot over the years. Lesson apparently not learned.



Date: 03/17/08 16:03
Re: Knox & Kane RR arson on Sunday, Kane, PA
Author: Weisguy

For those who don't know, the two steam locomotives in question are K&K 2-8-2 SY58 (Formerly SY1658M, built at Tangshan in China in 1989) and former Huntington & Broad Top 2-8-0 #38. The SY last ran several years ago, before the viaduct was hit with the twister, while the 38 has not operated since the late 1980s.



Date: 03/17/08 19:31
Re: Knox & Kane RR arson on Sunday, Kane, PA
Author: Mgoldman

Thanks Greg.

I was wondering which standard guage engine that was.
It would be ashame to loose that piece (or any piece).
Are there any other surviving Huntington and Broadtop
engines? I know there is an 0-6-0 at the Mt Union
Connecting RR - what is the connection there?

As for the arsonist... who would have any reasone other
then pure retardation? Was the Knox and Kane someone's
foe? Someone disgruntled, or just severe imaturity?
Or just way too early to speculate?



Date: 03/18/08 04:49
Re: Knox & Kane RR arson on Sunday, Kane, PA
Author: cr6485

Number 38 is the only H&BTM locomotive that still exists.

The standard-gauge 0-6-0 at Mt. Union is from the EBT.

Keith



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