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Accident Report Detail

Collision Between Metrolink Train 901 and Mercury Transportation, Inc., Tractor- Semitrailer at Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing

Executive Summary

‚ÄčOn January 28, 2000, about 5:56 a.m. in Glendale, California, a tractor-combination vehicle, operated by Mercury Transportation, Inc., was transporting an oil refinery condenser unit. The vehicle missed a turn in its planned route, traversed a highway-railroad grade crossing, turned around, and was attempting to retraverse the crossing when it became lodged on the railroad tracks. About 90 seconds later, northbound Metrolink commuter train 901, operated by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, collided with the vehicle. The engineer, conductor, and four passengers received minor injuries. Total damages were estimated to be over $2 million.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision of the Metrolink passenger train with the tractor-combination vehicle was (1) inadequate preparation and route planning for the movement; (2) poor coordination of the movement among the truckdriver, pilot car drivers, police escort, and permitting authorities; and (3) a lack of recognition of the potential hazard caused by the accident vehicle at the grade crossing. Contributing to the accident was the fatigue of the pilot car drivers and the truckdriver.

Accident Location: Glendale , CA    
Accident Date: 1/28/2000
Accident ID: HWY00FH027

Date Adopted: 11/27/2001
NTSB Number: HAR-01-02
NTIS Number: PB2001-916202