Sheriff: Railroad explosive device found in Butler County

Sheriff: Railroad explosive device found in Butler County
A railroad torpedo was found in Butler County. (Butler County Sheriff's Office)

BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - An explosive railroad torpedo was found in an undisclosed location in Butler County, Sheriff Richard Jones said.

The explosive device was found on Tuesday.

"The suspicious item turned out to be a Railroad Torpedo, something I've never seen before" Jones said.

A railroad torpedo is one of the oldest safety devices used by railroad companies. It is a small dynamite charge that's wrapped in paper with straps to hold it on a rail.

When a locomotive's wheel comes in contact with it, the weight of the engine sets off the charge and makes a loud sound that warns the engineer.

Before cabooses started to disappear, track torpedoes were standard issue and stored in lockers inside the caboose.

If a train had to stop on un-signaled, rear-end crewman would strap the torpedoes to the track far enough back from the train so another train could stop after it exploded the torpedo.

With the use of two-way radios, railroads don't use track torpedoes as much as they did in the past.

Jones is warning any individuals to call authorities if they find similar explosive devices.

"If you spot something, and you don't know what it is, and you think it may be dangerous - it's best to call authorities. Better to be safe than sorry," he said.

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