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Accident Report Detail

Collision of Amtrak Train No. 90 and MARC Train No. 437

Executive Summary

About 5:42 p.m. eastern daylight time on June 17, 2002, northbound Amtrak train No. 90, The Palmetto, collided with southbound MARC train No. 437 in Baltimore, Maryland. Amtrak train No. 90 consisted of 2 locomotives and 11 cars (2 mail handlers, 4 coaches, 1 dinette car, 1 baggage car, and 3 RoadRailers). There were 141 passengers and 6 crewmembers on board. MARC train No. 437 consisted of 1 locomotive and 7 cars. There were 60 passengers and 4 crewmembers on board. The collision resulted in six minor injuries.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the Amtrak engineer's loss of situational awareness in the moments before the collision because of excess focus on regulating train speed, which led to a failure to comply with signal indications. Contributing to the accident was the engineer's lack of familiarity with and proficiency in the operation of the diesel-electric locomotives assigned for the trip and the lack of a positive train control system.

Accident Location: Baltimore , MD    
Accident Date: 6/17/2002
Accident ID: DCA02FR010

Date Adopted: 5/12/2003
NTSB Number: RAB-03-01
NTIS Number:  

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