BEVERLY — All commuter trains running between Beverly and Rockport were stopped and canceled for about three hours Thanksgiving night after a brush fire response revealed unexpected wear to tracks in the area.

Firefighters were first called out to a brushfire along the tracks by Thissell Street, which crosses the Rockport line near the old Prides Crossing station and just downwind from Beverly Farms, at about 5 p.m. Thissell Street was later shut down, as was the Rockport commuter line while firefighters were on the tracks, according to scanner activity during the incident.

It took about an hour to knock down the fire given the department’s ability to get water to the fire, and it ultimately burned close to an acre, according to Beverly fire Capt. Kevin Petronzio.

By 6:10 p.m., firefighters were calling for Commuter Rail representatives to come out and check on the condition of the tracks, which was described by those at the scene as a “possible source of the fire,” according to scanner activity heard the incident.

“There are at least about a dozen grooves in the top of the tracks,” an official at the scene said on the scanner. “Looks like the tracks are worn down, varying depths, and they’re all along where the fire started.”

The fire was believed to be caused by sparks generated by a train moving over the worn track, Petronzio said.

The incident initially impacted inbound train 2112, which was sitting idle in West Gloucester throughout the incident, according to updates from the MBTA Commuter Rail on social media. That train, as well as outbound train 2113 heading toward Rockport, was later shut down and replaced with MBTA busing between Beverly and Rockport.

By 8:30 p.m., one of the two sets of tracks were opening back up and trains began moving again, with the first line of activity coming from train 2114, which left West Gloucester inbound toward Boston at 8:25 p.m., according to Petronzio. The train was first due to depart at 8:13 p.m.

To read live coverage of this incident, visit

Contact Dustin Luca at 978-338-2523 or Follow him at or on Twitter @DustinLucaSN.

Contact Dustin Luca at 978-338-2523 or Follow him at or on Twitter @DustinLucaSN.

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