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Accident Report Detail

Collision Involving Three Consolidated Rail Corporation Freight Trains Operating in Fog on a Double Main Track

Executive Summary

About 1:58 a.m. eastern standard time on January 17, 1999, three Consolidated Rail Corporation freight trains operating in fog on a double main track were involved in an accident near Bryan, Ohio. Westbound Mail-9, traveling near maximum authorized speed on track No. 1, struck the rear of a slower moving westbound train, TV-7, at milepost 337.22. The collision caused the derailment of the 3 locomotive units and the first 13 cars of Mail-9 and the last 3 cars of TV-7. The derailed equipment fouled the No. 2 track area and struck the 12th car of train MGL-16, which was operating eastbound on the adjacent track. The impact caused 18 cars in the MGL-16 consist to derail. The engineer and conductor of Mail-9 were killed in the accident. The crewmembers of TV-7 and MGL-16 were not injured. Total estimated damages were $5.3 million.​

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the crew of train Mail-9 to comply with restrictive signal indications while operating at or near maximum authorized speed in dense fog. Contributing to the accident was the lack of uniformity and consistency in the operating practices of Consolidated Rail Corporation train crews when they encountered conditions of reduced visibility. Also contributing to the accident was the lack of a backup safety system that would have helped alert the crewmembers of train Mail-9 to the restrictive signal indications.

Accident Location: Bryan , OH    
Accident Date: 1/17/1999
Accident ID: DCA99MR002

Date Adopted: 5/9/2001
NTSB Number: RAR-01-01
NTIS Number: PB2001-916301