"Nearly 1.5 million freight and passenger rail cars/locomotives are in operation in the United States. They operate on thousands of miles of rails in stations and depots throughout the country. For the purposes of this report, the term rail terminals refers to street-level terminals, underground rail terminals, elevated rail terminals, and the cars/locomotives themselves as coded in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). Between 1996 and 1998, there were an estimated 300 fires in rail terminals each year. These fires are responsible for less than 10 civilian injures and approximately $300,000 in fire loss annually. Though not particularly common (less than one such fire per day), rail terminal fires generally receive a great deal of media attention as they often cause traffic delays and inconvenience. It should be noted that the low number of fires reported to NFIRS may be more a result of the profile of fire departments reporting to NFIRS than an indicator of the frequency of rail terminal fires. This topical report examines the causes and nature of fires that occur on rail terminal properties, including structure fires, refuse fires, and fires involving vehicles."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Topical Fire Report Series (February 2002), v.2 no.13