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Accident Report Detail

Rear-end Collision, Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad, Branson Scenic Railroad

Executive Summary

On May 14, 1997, about 9:00 p.m., central daylight time, a Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad (M&NA) train, the Cotter North local, was traveling northbound in nonsignaled territory when it entered a siding track and collided with an unattended and unoccupied Branson Scenic Railway (BSR) excursion train. The collision occurred in downtown Branson, Missouri, on the M&NA Aurora Subdivision at milepost (MP) 447.3. When the collision occurred, the lead locomotive unit of the striking train derailed and caught fire. Also, both locomotive units of the parked train derailed. Both train crewmembers of the M&NA train sustained minor injuries. The costs associated with the accident were $410,625.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the cause of this accident was the failure of the BSR chief mechanical employee to ensure that the switch was properly lined before applying the blue signal lock because he was preoccupied with disagreements that he had with the BSR general manager.

Accident Location: Branson , MO    
Accident Date: 5/14/1997
Accident ID: CHI97FR008

Date Adopted: 4/23/1998
NTSB Number: RAB-98-03
NTIS Number:  

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