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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of CSX Transportation (CSX) freight train Q380-09

Executive Summary

On Wednesday, October 10, 2007, about 12:02 p.m. [1], eastbound CSX Transportation (CSX) freight train Q380-09 derailed 31 cars in Painesville, Ohio, while being operated on main track 1. The train was traveling 48 mph at the time of the derailment. The crew's last train operation had been made about 1 1/2 miles before the derailment. The train consisted of 2 locomotives and 112 cars (106 loaded and 6 empty). The 31st through 61st cars in the train derailed. The derailed cars included seven tank cars carrying ethanol, one tank car carrying liquefied petroleum gas, and one tank car carrying phthalic anhydride. Also among the 31 cars that derailed were covered hoppers carrying corn, wheat, feed, plastic, and lumber. The ethanol tank cars and many of the other freight cars caught on fire. Twenty-six of the derailed cars were destroyed.

As a precaution, about 1,400 area residents were evacuated from an area of approximately 3 square miles. There were no reported injuries. The temperature at the time of derailment was 51° F, and it was daylight. Estimated damages and environmental cleanup costs were $8.48 million.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the October 10, 2007, derailment of CSX Transportation freight train Q380-09 in Painesville, Ohio, was a broken rail due to a track inspector's installation of an incorrect type of rail joint bar. Contributing to the derailment was CSX Transportation's failure to weld the rail and, thereby, remove the temporary joint before the accident.

Accident Location: Painesville , OH    
Accident Date: 10/10/2007
Accident ID: DCA08FR001

Date Adopted: 6/1/2009
NTSB Number: RAB-09-02
NTIS Number:  

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