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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of CSX Transportation Freight Train Q502-15 With Hazardous Materials Release

Executive Summary

On January 16, 2007, about 8:43 a.m., eastern standard time, northbound CSX Transportation (CSX) freight train Q502-15, traveling about 47 mph through a curve, derailed 26 of its 80 cars near Shepherdsville, Kentucky. Twelve of the derailed cars contained hazardous materials. Three of those cars breached and released significant amounts of flammable hazardous liquids, which ignited and burned. About 500 people were evacuated from the area near the accident. No one was injured during the derailment; however, 50 people and 2 emergency responders were treated at local hospitals for minor injuries related to the hazardous materials release and fire. CSX estimated the total costs associated with this accident at $22.4 million. The weather was dry and cloudy, although recent rains had left the soil well saturated. The temperature was 28° F with 14 mph winds.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the 18th rail car to properly negotiate a curve because of the inadequate side bearing clearance of the B-end truck assembly, likely due to a broken side bearing wedge plate attachment bolt, which caused a wheel to climb the rail, which derailed the car. Contributing to the derailment was (1) the undesirable contact of the truck bolster bowl rim with the car body center plate and (2) the hollow worn wheels on the 18th car, which further diminished the steering ability of the truck assembly.

Accident Location: Shepherdsville , KY    
Accident Date: 1/16/2007
Accident ID: DCA07MR007

Date Adopted: 3/30/2012
NTSB Number: RAB-12-03
NTIS Number:  

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