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Accident Report Detail

​Railroad Accident Brief: Collision of Union Pacific Railroad Freight Train MSIDV 16 with Standing Railroad Cars in Hays, Kansas

Executive Summary

​On July 16, 2013, at about 1:20 a.m., central daylight time, westbound Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight train MSIDV16 unexpectedly encountered a hand-operated main track switch at MP 288 in the reverse position diverting the train from the main track onto two adjacent tracks at the Sharon Springs subdivision in Hays, Kansas. The switch was not equipped with technology to warn oncoming trains that it was in the reverse position. At the time of the accident, the train was traveling in no signaled track warrant territory at a timetable speed of 49mph. The lead locomotive collided with standing cars on the spur track.  Diesel fuel leaked from the ruptured locomotive fuel tanks, ignited, and burned. The three crew members were injured. Damage was estimated by the UP to be $1.4 million.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the brakeman of train LDG8915to return a main track switch to the normal position after the crew had secured the train on a siding track. Contributing to the accident was the inability of the crew of train MSIDV 16 to determine the position of the main track switch in no signaled territory.


For more details about this accident, visit and search for NTSB accident ID DCA13FR008.

Accident Location: Hays , KS USA  
Accident Date: 7/16/2013
Accident ID: DCA13FR008

Date Adopted: 4/14/2015
NTSB Number: RAB-15-04
NTIS Number:  

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