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Accident Report Detail

Rear-end Collision/Derailment, Conrail

Executive Summary

On September 29, 1997, about 5:45 p.m. eastern daylight time, eastbound Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) train PIBE-8, consisting of 2 locomotive units and 136 cars, passed a stop and proceed signal at 30 mph and struck the rear locomotive unit of eastbound Conrail train ENS-103, consisting of 5 locomotive units. Train ENS-103 was stopped at signal 1081E (milepost 104.2 at control point [CP] Tara) in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. Each train was crewed by a conductor and an engineer. The conductor on train PIBE-8 sustained fatal injuries in the accident. No other injuries were reported. Damages were estimated at $571,700. Weather conditions were clear, with bright sunlight and a temperature of 65° F.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was a phantom signal indication that resulted because the Consolidated Rail Corporation failed to ensure that the signal aspects displayed could be properly seen by train crews.

Accident Location: Hummelstown , PA    
Accident Date: 9/29/1997
Accident ID: ATL97FR020

Date Adopted: 12/1/1998
NTSB Number: RAB-98-23
NTIS Number:  

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