Railroad ties set on fire in Port Colborne
Welland Tribune

A City of Port Colborne backhoe was used to assist firefighters battling a fire in a pile of railroad ties Saturday morning.

Fire Chief Tom Cartwright said Port Colborne Fire and Emergency Services firefighters were called at 6:19 a.m. for the report of the fire on Sherwood Forest Lane.

The fire was on the west side of rail lines that run alongside the road and into Ceres Global Ag Corp.’s Port Colborne terminal — formerly Robin Hood. The rail lines also head south along the west side weir and north toward Welland.

“When we got here we found a large pile of railroad ties on fire,” said Cartwright.

He said firefighters were dealing with old, broken and rotten, creosote covered wooden ties.

Creosote is as a preservative used on wooden railroad ties.

Cartwright said a representative from Gio Railways came down to check on the fire beside the rail lines.

“They came, took a look and left. There’s nothing much they could do at this particular time,” the chief said from the scene.

Gio Railways took over Trillium Railways which operated in Port Colborne and Welland and had rail lines and yards scattered across the two municipalities and Wainfleet. Its Sherwood Yard is at Ceres Global Ag.

Cartwright said the rail company ensured no trains would come through the area as firefighters set up alongside and on the tracks.

A backhoe from the city’s operations department moved the railroad ties so firefighters could get to hot spots in the pile.

Cartwright said it was a deliberately set fire.

“It’s unfortunate because it ties up our resources.”

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