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Accident Report Detail

Collision of Two Union Pacific Railroad Trains

Executive Summary

On Saturday, November 10, 2007, about 12:03 p.m., eastbound Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight train RVVCGC-07 struck the rear end of stopped eastbound UP freight train IGSMN-10 in Bertram, California. The striking train consisted of 6 locomotives and 60 loaded cars and was traveling about 28 mph when it collided with the stopped train, which consisted of 5 locomotives and 111 loaded cars. The stopped train was awaiting a scheduled meet with a westbound UP freight train when the accident occurred. As a result of the collision, the striking train's three lead locomotives derailed; they also caught fire due to a fuel tank that ruptured on impact. The local fire department extinguished the fire. The two crewmembers on board the striking train were killed. The weather was clear, and the temperature was about 74° F. Total estimated damage was $2 million.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the November 10, 2007, collision of two Union Pacific Railroad freight trains in Bertram, California, was the failure of the train crewmembers on eastbound train RVVCGC-07 to comply with wayside signal indications because they were likely asleep. Contributing to the accident was the lack of a positive train control system.

Accident Location: Bertram , CA    
Accident Date: 11/10/2007
Accident ID: DCA08FR002

Date Adopted: 9/8/2008
NTSB Number: RAB-08-04
NTIS Number:  

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