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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of an Amtrak Train on the Tracks of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company

Executive Summary

This report describes and analyzes a derailment of an Amtrak passenger train which occurred as the train was moving eastward at a speed of about 77 mph. The derailment occurred on a trailing point turnout which connected the southerly main track with a siding. The rear six cars turned over as they slid down a bank. Fifteen employees and 87 passengers were injured as a result of the accident.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the broken closure rail of the turnout leading from the south main track to the siding. The insufficient strength of the track bold and apparent stressed condition of the nail contributed to the cause of the broken rail.

Accident Location: Melvern , KS    
Accident Date: 7/5/1974
Accident ID: 79997

Date Adopted: 2/5/1975
NTSB Number: RAR-75-01
NTIS Number: PB-240728/AS

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