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Accident Report Detail

Penn Central Company, Train Second 115 (Silver Star), Derailment

Executive Summary

The "Silver Star," operating as Penn Central Train 2nd 115, derailed on Penn Central tracks at Glenn Dale, Maryland, about 1:23 p.m., June 28, 1969. Among the 541 passengers in the 18 cars, 144 persons were transported to area hospitals, 12 of whom were admitted. Total estimated damages, excluding personal injuries were in excess of $300,000.

Probable Cause

The Safety Board determines that the derailment was caused by lateral movement of the track under the train. The lateral movement was caused by buckling of the track.

The track buckled because of high compressive forces caused by heat expansion and the tendency of rail to creep in the direction of the predominant flow of traffic and descending grade. The absence of a full ballast section, irregular compaction of the ballast, and reduced density of ballast below crossties resulting from boring operations are possible contributing factors which could not be ruled out. A slight misalignment of the track produced lateral movement of the cars which may have initiated the buckling of the track, which was already under high compressive force.

A number of injuries to passengers were caused by their being thrown from the seats and striking interior parts of the cars and by luggage being thrown about inside cars.

Accident Location: Glenn Dale , MD    
Accident Date: 6/28/1969
Accident ID: 80225

Date Adopted: 6/10/1970
NTSB Number: RAR-70-01
NTIS Number: PB-192456

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