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Accident Report Detail

Collision of Amtrak Passenger Train 371 and Norfolk Southern Railway Company Freight Train 23M

Executive Summary

​On Friday, November 30, 2007, about 11:23 a.m., Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) passenger train 371, consisting of one locomotive and three passenger cars, struck the rear of standing Norfolk Southern Railway Company freight train 23M near Chicago, Illinois. The forward portion of the Amtrak locomotive came to rest on top of a container on the rear car of the freight train. Sixty-six passengers and five crewmembers were transported to hospitals; two passengers and one crewmember were subsequently admitted. The weather was clear, and the temperature was 30° F. Estimated damage was $1,299,000.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the November 30, 2007, collision of Amtrak train 371 with the rear of Norfolk Southern Railway Company train 23M near Chicago, Illinois, was the failure of the Amtrak engineer to correctly interpret the signal at Englewood interlocking and Amtrak's failure to ensure that the engineer had the competency to correctly interpret signals across the different territories over which he operated. Contributing to the accident was the relief engineer's failure to immediately communicate to the engineer that he had miscalled the signal at Englewood and to stop the train when he did not respond to her expressed concern. Also contributing to the accident was an absence of effective crew resource management between the relief engineer and the operating engineer which led to their failure to resolve the miscalled signal prior to the collision. Further contributing to the accident was the absence of a positive train control system that would have stopped the Amtrak train when it exceeded restricted speed.

Accident Location: Chicago , IL    
Accident Date: 11/30/2007
Accident ID: DCA08MR003

Date Adopted: 3/31/2009
NTSB Number: RAR-09-01
NTIS Number: PB2009-916301