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Accident Report Detail

Operation of Amtrak Passenger Train Over CN Misaligned Track

Executive Summary

About 3:25 p.m. on June 26, 2006, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) train PO5871-26, en route from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Chicago, Illinois, and operating over CN railroad (CN) main line track, encountered a section of misaligned track near Arcola, Louisiana. The train was traveling about 67 mph when the engineer said he saw that the track ahead was misaligned by about 2 feet to the east. He made an immediate full service brake application, and although the train negotiated the area without derailing, the misaligned track caused passengers to be jostled about in the cars. Nine of the train’s 104 passengers reported injuries at the scene, and 4 were transported to a local hospital where they were treated and released. None of the 10 Amtrak employees aboard the train was injured.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the June 26, 2006, accident near Arcola, Louisiana, involving Amtrak train PO5871-26 was a heat-induced track misalignment that resulted because CN railroad’s continuous welded rail procedures failed to ensure that rail was adequately de-stressed during or after the installation of a turnout.

Accident Location: Arcola , LA    
Accident Date: 6/26/2006
Accident ID: DCA06FR006

Date Adopted: 12/21/2006
NTSB Number: RAB-06-08
NTIS Number:  

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