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Accident Report Detail

Collision of Penn Central Transportation Company-Operated Passenger Trains Number 132, 944, and 939

Executive Summary

On October 17, 1975, about 6:37 p.m., a northbound Penn Central Transportation Company (Penn Central) passenger train, No. 944, struck the rear of Penn Central passenger train No. 132, which had made an unscheduled stop near Wilmington, Delaware, because of an equipment malfunction. Train No. 939, a southbound Penn Central passenger train that was approaching on an adjacent track, struck the derailed equipment from No. 944. The collisions injured 25 persons and caused property damage of $817,866.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the rear end collision was the engineer's failure to operate his train according to established procedures. Contributing to the accident was the operational practice of the railroad industry which permits trains to enter occupied blocks. The second collision was caused by the absence of flagging.

Accident Location: Wilmington , DE    
Accident Date: 10/17/1975
Accident ID: 79972

Date Adopted: 6/16/1976
NTSB Number: RAR-76-07
NTIS Number: PB-255651

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