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Timeline

Wednesday

3:04pm The train, composed of three locos and 60 freight cars, enters the southern end of the 2.72km tunnel.

3:07pm Train's emergency brakes activate 500m from northern end of tunnel. Crew unable to reset brakes.

3:15pm Crew notices fumes coming from further down the tunnel. Shuts down the leading two locos, uncouples the third from the freight cars and drives out to safety.

3:27pm Locomotives leave tunnel.

3:35pm City Fire Department arrives at northern end of tunnel, but is driven back by fumes.

4:15pm Fire Department receives train's cargo manifest listing cargo contents.

6:15pm Water main at junction of Lombard and Howard Streets ruptures. Water flows unimpeded until 9pm. Rupture causes the water level in a supply reservoir upstream to drop dramatically, affecting water pressures in Baltimore city centre.

Late evening Fire Department launches unsuccessful reconnaissance mission in tunnel on back of a flatbed rail truck.

Thursday 12pm Fire Department begins dousing fire from above, through a manhole near to the junction of Lombard and Howard Streets.

Move allows fire crews to approach train from the south.

pm As heat in tunnel reaches 800infinityC, fibreoptic cables melt causing e-mail and mobile phone crashes.

pm Smoke and fumes force baseball team Baltimore Orioles to cancel a doubleheader, at a cost of $2M in tickets, concessions and parking.

Friday

9am Five wagons pulled out of southern end of the tunnel.

pm In attempting to remove the next four cars, fire crew discovers one tanker to be leaking hydrochloric acid. Approximately 23,000 litres is estimated to have spilled - some seeping into storm sewer drains and being carried into the city's fashionable inner harbour area. After two hours of cooling with water, CSX contractors begin pumping the hydrochloric acid into tankers via Howard Street manhole.

pm Orioles forced to cancel a third game, taking losses to $3M.

Evening Fire crews finally restart removing wagons after laying 426m of temporary tracks.

Sat-Sun

Fire crews remove final cars on Sunday night.

Monday am Fire extinguished, streets start to reopen.

Tuesday am First train due to run through tunnel.

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