Railroad Accident Report - Collision of Two CN Freight Trains

Anding, Mississippi
July 10, 2005

NTSB Number: RAR-07-01
NTIS Number: PB2007-916301
Adopted March 20, 2007
PDF

Executive Summary

On Sunday, July 10, 2005, about 4:15 a.m., central daylight time, two CN freight trains collided head on in Anding, Mississippi. The collision occurred on the CN Yazoo Subdivision, where the trains were being operated under a centralized traffic control signal system on single track. Signal data indicated that the northbound train, IC 1013 North, continued past a stop (red) signal at North Anding and collided with the southbound train, IC 1023 South, about 1/4 mile beyond the signal. The collision resulted in the derailment of 6 locomotives and 17 cars. About 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel were released from the locomotives and resulted in a fire that burned for about 15 hours. Two crewmembers were on each train; all four were killed. As a precaution, about 100 Anding residents were evacuated; they did not report any injuries. Property damages exceeded $9.5 million; clearing and environmental cleanup costs totaled about $616,800.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the July 10, 2005, collision in Anding, Mississippi, was the failure by the crew of the northbound train (IC 1013 North) to comply with wayside signals requiring them to stop at North Anding. The crew's attention to the signals was most likely reduced by fatigue; however, due to the lack of a locomotive cab voice recorder or the availability of other supporting evidence, other factors cannot be ruled out. Contributing to the accident was the absence of a positive train control system that would have stopped the northbound train before it exceeded its authorized limits. Also contributing to the accident was the lack of an alerter on the lead locomotive that may have prompted the crew to be more attentive to their operation of the train.

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the Safety Board identified the following safety issues:

  • The lack of a positive train control system that would stop trains when authorized limits are exceeded,
  • The absence of a requirement for alerters on the leading locomotive of freight trains,
  • The lack of accurate and timely train consist information for emergency responders,
  • The lack of procedures ensuring railroads, States, and communities conduct joint emergency response planning for hazardous material releases, and
  • The need for locomotive cab voice recorders.

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board makes recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the CN, and all Class I railroads.

Recommendations

As a result of its investigation of the July 10, 2005, collision between two CN freight trains in Anding, Mississippi, the National Transportation Safety Board makes the following safety recommendations:

To the Federal Railroad Administration:

Require railroads to ensure that the lead locomotives used to operate trains on tracks not equipped with a positive train control system are equipped with an alerter. (R-07-1)

Assist the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in developing regulations to require that railroads immediately provide to emergency responders accurate, real-time information regarding the identity and location of all hazardous materials on a train. (R-07-2)

Require the installation of a crash- and fire-protected locomotive cab voice recorder, or a combined voice and video recorder, (for the exclusive use in accident investigations and with appropriate limitations on the public release of such recordings) in all controlling locomotive cabs and cab car operating compartments. The recorder should have a minimum 2-hour continuous recording capability, microphones capable of capturing crewmembers' voices and sounds generated within the cab, and a channel to record all radio conversations to and from crewmembers. (R-07-3)

To the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

With the assistance of the Federal Railroad Administration, require that railroads immediately provide to emergency responders accurate, real-time information regarding the identity and location of all hazardous materials on a train. (R-07-4)

Require and verify that States and their communities that receive funds through the Hazardous Materials and Emergency Preparedness grant program conduct training exercises and drills with the joint participation of railroads and other transporters of hazardous materials operating within their jurisdictions as a means of evaluating State, regional, and local emergency hazardous materials response plans. (R-07-5)

To the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

Require and verify that railroads transporting hazardous materials participate in joint training exercises and drills with the States, regions, or communities in which they operate as a means of evaluating the railroads' emergency hazardous materials response plans. (R-07-6)

To the CN:

Develop and implement a positive train control system that includes collision avoidance capabilities on main line tracks, establishing priority requirements for high-risk corridors such as those where passenger trains operate. (R-07-7)

To All Class I Railroads:

Ensure that alerters are installed on all your lead locomotives used to operate trains on tracks not equipped with a positive train control system. (R-07-8)