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Accident Report Detail

Collision of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway

Executive Summary

On February 13, 2003, about 12:25 p.m., an eastbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) unit coal train collided with a BNSF yard train on the main track in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The coal train consisted of 2 locomotives and 124 loaded cars; the yard train 2consisted of 1 locomotive and 16 freight cars. Both locomotives of the coal train and 28 cars of coal derailed; the locomotive and 3 cars of the yard train derailed. The crew of the coal train consisted of an engineer and a conductor. The engineer received minor injuries, and the conductor sustained fatal injuries. The crew of the yard train consisted of an engineer, a conductor, and a brakeman. The yard train engineer received minor injuries.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the February 13, 2003, collision between a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway coal train and yard train near the Scottsbluff, Nebraska, yard was the failure of the yard train's conductor to properly line and lock the switches for the yard train's intended route. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the lack of an electronic connection between the inner switch and main track signal system.

Accident Location: Scottsbluff , NB    
Accident Date: 2/13/2003
Accident ID: DCA03FR003

Date Adopted: 2/13/2004
NTSB Number: RAB-04-02
NTIS Number:  

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