A smoking railroad tie on the Caltrain tracks in Palo Alto shut down train service on Friday afternoon. It was the second incident this week, Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said.
The incident occurred at 3:15 p.m. after a train engineer spotted the wooden tie smoldering. Police and fire departments halted two trains through the area, which is between the Churchill Avenue crossing and the California Avenue station. Southbound train 156 was stopped at the Palo Alto station; northbound train 261 was stopped at the California Avenue station. There was no impact to any other trains, Dunn said.
Police and fire personnel searched the tracks on foot. The smoldering tie was reported at milepost 30, four-tenths of a mile north of the California Avenue station and north of Peers Park, Dunn said.
A similar incident occurred earlier this week. Dunn did not know the cause of the smoldering ties, she said.
"It's the first time I have ever heard of anything like this," she said.
Crews did not locate the smoldering tie, according to dispatch. The fire department cleared train passage at 4:15 p.m., Dunn said.