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Accident Report Detail

Rear End Collision of Two Southern Pacific Transportation Company Freight Trains

Executive Summary

This report describes and analyzes a rear-end collision between two Southern Pacific Transportation Company freight trains in the SP yard at Indio, California, on June 25, 1973. Extra 8992 West, after having entered the yard, struck the rear of Extra 8659 West, which was standing on the westbound main track. All five locomotive units of Extra 8992 West were destroyed, and 25 cars of the two colliding trains were derailed. The engineer and the front brakeman of Extra 8992 West were killed. Eight cars of a train on an adjacent track were also derailed.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the crew of the Extra 8992 West to stop their train, which was being operated at an excessive speed by an engineer under the influence of alcohol. Contributing to this failure was the ineffectiveness of the Southern Pacific in assuring compliance with its operating rules and procedures which were specifically designed to prevent an accident if a crewmember failed to perform his duties.

Accident Location: Indio , CA    
Accident Date: 6/25/1973
Accident ID: 79799

Date Adopted: 3/20/1974
NTSB Number: RAR-74-01
NTIS Number: PB-231134/AS

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