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Accident Report Detail

Collision of Three Union Pacific Freight Trains

Executive Summary

About 5:46 a.m. CST on December 13, 2001, three Union Pacific (UP) freight trains were involved in a collision and derailment on the Jefferson City Subdivision at Pacific, Missouri, about 35 miles southwest of St. Louis. The collision occurred in double main track territory governed by a centralized traffic control signal system. In total 6 locomotives and 74 cars were derailed.

There were two crewmembers on each of the three trains. Two crewmembers were seriously injured, and two received minor injuries. There was a release of 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel and a small fire. Damages were $10 million.

The weather was overcast with misting rain and a temperature of 36° F. It was dark at the time of the collision.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the rear-end collision of eastbound train CNRBW-10 with eastbound train 2CNAAE-10 and the resulting collision of westbound train CPAWE-13 was the conductor and engineer of train CNRBW-10 being in a fatigue-induced unresponsive state as their train passed several wayside signals and approached the rear of train 2CNAAE-10.

Accident Location: Pacific , MO    
Accident Date: 12/13/2001
Accident ID: DCA02FR002

Date Adopted: 6/17/2004
NTSB Number: RAB-04-06
NTIS Number:  

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