CANTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A Commuter Rail train caught on fire in Canton Thursday evening, forcing passengers to evacuate.

About an hour into their commute home, passengers on the 7:30 p.m. outbound train to Providence reported smelling smoke. When the train came to a stop in Canton, witnesses say they saw heavy fire and smoke shooting from the engine compartment.

Canton Fire Chief Charles E. Doody said that when the train was turned off, the flames receded. When it was turned back on, they reignited.

“The locomotive for Train 831 briefly had excess smoke coming from the exhaust. It was contained to the locomotive stack and was caused by a short and contained fire in the engine,” a Keolis spokesperson said in a statement.

Witnesses posted photos and videos of the train stopped at Canton Junction

“I was actually sitting in the first car that filled up with the smoke and we were told originally to just move to the second car if you were uncomfortable with the smell,” one commuter said. “So, I naturally moved. Then we didn’t move and then we noticed people outside taking photos.”

That commuter told 7’s Nathalie Pozo it was after that that passengers were instructed to evacuate the train.

The commuter said they were then instructed to get back onto the train despite the flames.

“It appeared that no one had called the fire department, at least from the MBTA side,” they said.

That commuter refused to get back on the train saying that within a few minutes commuters that did board again were urged back onto the platform.

“It seems crazy that you would suggest people to get on a train while it is visibly smoking,” the commuter said.

“Twenty-six years of commuting, it has just gotten worse and worse and worse,” another commuter said. “They raise the rates and the service gets worse.”

Keolis said the impacted train will be sent to a maintenance facility for further review.

A second train has been sent to pick up the stranded passengers. That train is also reportedly delayed.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest details.

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