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Accident Report Detail

​New York Central Railroad Company, Train 1/NY-4 Extra 2020 East and Train ND-5 Extra 5305 West, Head-On Collision

Executive Summary

The accident occurred on the West 30th Street Branch of the New York Central Railroad at approximately 147th Street, New York, N. Y., at about 9:55 a.m. on May 22, 1967. The trains involved were 1/NY-4 extra 2020 east, consisting of three diesel-electric locomotives and 15 cars eastbound from Syracuse, New York to the 30th Street Branch of the New York Central Railroad, and train ND-5 extra 5305 west, consisting of four diesel-electric locomotives and 60 cars westbound from the vicinity of 105th Street, and proceeding north along the Hudson River on the 30th Street Branch.

The collision occurred on main Track No. 1, which was being used on the morning of the accident for train movements in both directions due to repairs which were being conducted on main Track No. 2.

As a result of the accident, six train service employees were killed, and three train service employees were injured. Six locomotives and 11 cars were destroyed, one locomotive was extensively damaged and five cars were also damaged.

Probable Cause

The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the operator at the 72nd Street Station (DO) to restrict train ND-5. Contributing causes were the failure of the dispatcher to assure positively that Track 1 had been blocked by DO prior to issuance of the train order, the failure of the operator at the station at Spuyten Duyvil (DV) to secure a positive block on main Track No. 1 for train NY-4, and the failure of the New York Central Railroad Company to establish explicit boundaries of authority, explicit operating rules, and procedures to insure that its personnel are instructed in and comply with such rules.

Accident Location: New York , NY    
Accident Date: 5/22/1967
Accident ID: 79826

Date Adopted: 12/29/1967
NTSB Number: RAR-1967-A
NTIS Number: PB-190198

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