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Accident Report Detail

Railroad Accident Brief: Amtrak Train Derailment on BNSF Railway Tracks Cimarron, Kansas

Executive Summary

​On March 13, 2016, about 9:30 a.m. central daylight time, an unattended two-axle agricultural truck loaded with cattle feed rolled away from the Cimarron Crossing Feeders feedlot, in Cimarron, Kansas.1 The truck rolled down a hill, across a highway, and collided with the BNSF Railway (BNSF) railroad tracks. The collision caused a lateral shift in the tracks at milepost (MP) 372.09. At 12:02 a.m. the next day, an eastbound Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) passenger train derailed while crossing the misaligned tracks.

The Los Angeles-to-Chicago train, which had two locomotives and 10 cars, was operating on the La Junta Subdivision. The last four cars derailed on their sides, and two other cars derailed upright. Of the 130 passengers and 14 Amtrak employees on board, 28 were injured. Amtrak and the BNSF estimated the damages to be more than $1.4 million.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the derailment was the agriculture truck driver’s failure to properly secure his unattended truck, which rolled downhill and struck the BNSF railroad tracks causing them to misalign. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the truck’s driver and his supervisor to report the incident to the local authorities.

Accident Location: Cimarron , KS USA  
Accident Date: 3/13/2016
Accident ID: DCA16MR004

Date Adopted: 11/16/2017
NTSB Number: RAB1711
NTIS Number: