Video captures fireball explosions of TRAX train hit by live wire in Salt Lake

  • The above video contains multiple curse words uttered by the people on the scene.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 3, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Bystanders trying to catch a downtown TRAX train home at just before midnight Tuesday night instead captured video of a train exploding after a live wire dropped on top.

“Is it safe to be standing under these….,” said Michael Gately, said after a string of colorful curse words uttered in response to the sight. His friend answered:

“I don’t think we’re catching the train home, bro.”

And he was right. All three TRAX lines were down for the morning commute, and repairs may stretch through into Friday. For service updates, visit UTA on Twitter.

To watch Gately’s video — complete with colorful language — click on the player above.

Carl Arky, spokesperson for UTA, said the catenary wire, which powers and provides electricity to the TRAX trains, came loose and fell down in the area of 350 South and Main Street.

“The wire came down and made contact with a TRAX train,” Arky told reporters. “There was some searing on the front of the train, and some smoke involved as well.”

Arky said it isn’t known yet why the wire came down — it could be weather-related, and some witnesses said they saw lightning hit it. The cause is under investigation, and crews will be working all night to get to the source of the problem and make sure everything is mechanically sound again.

When the catenary wire came down, everything came to a halt. No power, no lights, and the doors on the train couldn’t automatically open.

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“It was a tense moment, I’m sure, for the 30-some passengers on board, and we’re sorry for that,” Arky said. “It was a mechanical problem, nothing that we could foresee happening, so we’re just grateful that everyone got off in really good condition.”

He said one person had an injured wrist and was transported to the hospital, but other than that, there were no serious or significant injuries.

Arky full statement from Wednesday afternoon follows:

“The cause of Tuesday night’s power surge which damaged a southbound TRAX train at 390 S. Main in Salt Lake City remains undetermined at this time. While UTA will continue investigating the cause of this incident, our main priority is restoring regular service as soon as possible.

“UTA’s repair and maintenance crews have assessed the damage and are working around the clock to restore service.

“Current estimates project repair work continuing throughout Thursday’s regular service hours. UTA will keep the media and the public apprised of the progress our repair crews are making. Early estimates indicate regular service may be restored by Friday morning.

“Until service is restored, a bus bridge will remain in effect. All TRAX lines continue to operate outside the effected area where repair work is being done. UTA advises all passengers to plan accordingly and consult the UTA twitter feed (@RideUTA) or website ( for the most current scheduling updates. UTA regrets any inconvenience and thanks its passengers for their patience.”


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