Railroad Accident Brief

Highway-rail grade crossing collision

Madison, Illinois
February 28, 2012

NTSB Number: RAB-14-01
Adopted: March 27, 2014

The Accident

On February 28, 2012, at 11:57 a.m., southbound Amtrak train 301-28, traveling on Union Pacific Railroad (UP) Springfield Subdivision main track 2, collided with an eastbound vehicle at the Bissell Street highway-rail grade crossing (crossing) in Madison, Illinois. Two UP signal employees were working in the UP warning system signal bungalow for the crossing when the accident occurred. Locomotive video recorder data indicated that the crossing warning system did not activate before or during the collision. The vehicle driver died as a result of the collision.

Amtrak train 301-28 was en route from Chicago, Illinois, to St. Louis, Missouri. The train did not derail. The train crewmembers and passengers did not sustain any injuries. Damages were estimated at $3,794. The temperature at the time of the accident was 48°F with partly cloudy skies and wind from the southeast at 2 mph.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the Union Pacific Railroad signal inspector and signal technician to provide for the safety of train movements and highway users prior to disabling the highway rail grade crossing warning system at the Bissell Street crossing. Contributing to the accident was the failure of Union Pacific Railroad management to ensure proper procedures were followed during the software upgrades to provide for the safety of train movements and highway users.