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Accident Report Detail

Collision of Two Penn Central Commuter Trains at Botanical Garden Station

Executive Summary

This report analyzes a rear-end collision between two Penn Central commuter trains. The first train was moving at a speed of 15 mph when the engineer of the following train failed to stop at a "stop-and-proceed" signal and consequently collided with the train ahead. Four cars of the first train were derailed; damage to the cars was minimal. Two hundred and sixty-five persons were injured and three persons were hospitalized overnight.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision was the failure of the engineer of train 528, while operating the train in violation of the "stop-and-proceed" indication, to perceive the train ahead in time to prevent a collision; and the lack of a backup system to control the train in accordance with the signal indication when the engineer failed to do so. The cause of the large number of injuries in this relatively moderate collision was the poor design of seats and of other interior features.

Accident Location: New York , NY    
Accident Date: 1/2/1975
Accident ID: 80013

Date Adopted: 7/16/1975
NTSB Number: RAR-75-08
NTIS Number: PB82-171588

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