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Accident Report Detail

Collision of Two Municipal Transportation Agency Light Rail Vehicles

Executive Summary

On July 18, 2009, about 2:50 p.m., at West Portal Station, San Francisco, California, San Francisco Municipal Railway Transit System (MUNI) L Line train 1433 struck the rear end of standing MUNI K Line train 1407. The operators of both trains and 46 passengers were taken to hospitals. The operator of the striking train and 27 of the passengers had serious injuries. The incident was not affected by weather; it occurred as the trains were just exiting a tunnel. Estimated damages were $4.5 million.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the July 18, 2009, collision of two San Francisco Municipal Railway Transit System trains in San Francisco, California, at West Portal Station was the failure of the operator of L Line train 1407 to maintain the train in automatic mode until reaching the station stop at the West Portal platform, which would have been a safeguard against his loss of consciousness. Contributing to the accident was the San Francisco Municipal Railway Transit System's failure to monitor and enforce the requirement that the operator wait until reaching the platform before changing the operating mode of the train.

Accident Location: San Francisco , CA    
Accident Date: 7/18/2009
Accident ID: DCA09FR010

Date Adopted: 4/13/2011
NTSB Number: RAB-11-04
NTIS Number: