Highway Accident Report

Collision of Amtrack Train No. 88 With
Rountree Transport and Rigging Vehicle
on CSX Transportation, Inc., Railroad
Near Intercession City, Florida
November 30, 1993

NTSB Number: HAR-95/01
NTIS Number: PB95-916201
PDF Document (1.3K)

SYNOPSIS:On November 30, 1993, a 184-foot-long vehicle consisting of a truck-tractor and modular transporter operated by Rountree Transport and Rigging (Rountree), Inc., was en route to deliver an 82-ton turbine to a Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) electricity generating plant under construction near Intercession City, Florida. The private access road to the plant facility crosses over a single railroad track owned by CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT). Because of the configuration of the truck and the profile of the roadway, the cargo deck of the transporter began to bottom out on the roadway surface as the vehicle moved across the tracks and began down the descending grade. To gain sufficient clearance, the Rountree crew shimmed the transporter while the cargo deck was on the tracks. About 12:40 p.m, they had finished raising the cargo deck and were preparing to move the vehicle when the lights and bells at the grade crossing activated. The crossing gates descended, striking the turbine. Seconds later, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) train number 88, the Silver Meteor, carrying 89 passengers, struck the side of the cargo deck and the turbine. The locomotive and the first four cars of the eight-car consist derailed, carrying the turbine and parts of the Rountree vehicle with them.

No deaths resulted from this accident. Responders evacuated 59 people to five local hospitals, where 15 were admitted for further treatment. Six people sustained serious injuries and 53 suffered minor injuries, mostly abrasions, lacerations, and contusions. The Rountree vehicle and the turbine were destroyed, and the locomotive and the first three railcars were damaged extensively. Total damage from the accident exceeded $14 million.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of Rountree Transport and Rigging, Inc. to notify CSXT in advance of its intent to cross the railroad track at the accident grade crossing and to ensure through CSXT that it was safe to do so. Contributing to the accident were deficiencies in the permitting processes of the CSXT and the Florida Department of Transportation that resulted in a lack of appropriate guidance for permitting officials, oversize, low-clearance vehicle operators, and escort personnel.

From its investigation of this accident, the Safety Board identified safety issues in the following areas: Rountree oversight of oversize moves, oversize move coordination, pipeline notification and hazard identification and avoidance, permitting procedures, and lounge car seat support design.

The Safety Board issued recommendations to the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, the American Gas Association, the American Public Gas Association, the American Petroleum Institute, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, the Associ- ation of American Railroads, the American Short Line Railroad Association, the Central Florida Pipeline Corporation, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, the Osceola County (Florida) Emergency Management Division, the State of Florida Division of Emergency Management, the CSX Transportation Corporation, the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs Association, and the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances.