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Accident Report Detail

 
Collision of Northeast (METRA) Train and Transportation Joint Agreement School District 47/155 School Bus at Railroad/ Highway Grade Crossing

Executive Summary

‚ÄčOn October 25, 1995, at 7:10 a.m., the Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation (d/b/a Metropolitan Rail) express commuter train 624 struck the rear left side of a stopped Transportation Joint Agreement School District 47/155 school bus at a railroad/highway grade crossing in Fox River Grove, Illinois. The accident occurred after the school bus had crossed the railroad tracks and stopped for a red traffic signal, with its rear extended about 3 feet into the path of the train. Of the 35 school bus passengers, 7, 24, and 4 passengers sustained fatal, serious to minor, and no injuries, respectively; the busdriver received minor injuries. The 120 passengers and 3 crewmembers aboard the commuter train were uninjured.


Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision was that the busdriver had positioned the school bus so it encroached upon the railroad tracks because of the failure of: 1) the Illinois Department of Transportation to recognize the short queuing area on northbound Algonquin Road and to take corrective action; 2) the Illinois Department of Transportation to recognize the insufficient time of the green signal indication for vehicles on northbound Algonquin Road before the arrival of a train at the crossing; and 3) the Transportation Joint Agreement School District 47/155 to identify route hazards and to provide its drivers with alternative instructions for such situations. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the Illinois Department of Transportation and its many contractors, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and the railroads to have a communication system that ensures understanding of the integration and working relationship of the railroad and highway signal systems.


Accident Location: Fox River Grove , IL    
Accident Date: 10/25/1995
Accident ID: CRH96MH002

Date Adopted: 10/29/1996
NTSB Number: HAR-96-02
NTIS Number: PB96-916202