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Event Type: Railroad Derailment

Location: Ellicott City, MD

Date: August 21, 2012

Railroad Accident Investigation Involving Railroad Derailment in Ellicott City, Md

On August 20, 2012, about 11:56 p.m. EDT, eastbound CSX Transportation (CSX) coal train U183-18, consisting of two locomotives and 80 cars loaded with coal, derailed the lead 21 cars at milepost 12.9 on the CSX Old Main Line Subdivision in Ellicott City, Maryland. Six of the 21 fell into a public parking area that was about 15 feet below track level on the north side. Other loaded coal cars involved in the derailment were overturned, spilling their content along the north side of the track.

Two people that were sitting on the north side of the railroad bridge at the time of the derailment sustained fatal injuries.

The maximum authorized speed for the track through the area of the derailment is 25 mph. The event recorder data showed the train was traveling at 25 mph when it derailed.

Parties to the investigation include: the Federal Railroad Administration, CSX Transportation, and the Brotherhood of Maintenance-of-Way Employes.

Further investigative updates will be issued as events warrant. To be alerted to any updates or developments, please follow the NTSB on Twitter at

Investigator In Charge Jim Southworth briefs the media about the Ellicott City, Md., derailment on Aug. 21.

Derailed CSX coal cars involved in Ellicott City, Md. accident.

Derailed coal cars located next to historical B&O railroad museum.

Derailed CSX coal cars that landed in an adjacent parking lot in Ellicott City, Md.

NTSB staff on-scene at the 8-21-12 CSX coal train derailment in Ellicott City, Md.

NTSB investigator Jim Southworth discusses the progress of the investigation into the CSX derailment in Ellicott City, Md.



Press Releases

Media Contact: Eric Weiss,202-314-6100 (NTSB HQ)