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Accident Report Detail

Auto Train Corp. Train Derailment on the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad

Executive Summary

About 6:57 a.m., on May 5, 1976, 25 automobile carriers derailed from Auto-Train Corporation's northbound train No. 4 near Jarratt, Virginia. No one was injured. The train was traveling about 72 mph on the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL).

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was an undetected, fractured, loose, and out-of-gauge wheel which struck the track structure. Dragging and incompletely released brakes caused the wheel to overheat at its tread; the overheating caused design stress patterns on the wheel to change and the wheel to fracture. The brakes did not fully release because of the train's length and because of the type of brake equipment used.

Accident Location: Jarratt , VA    
Accident Date: 5/5/1976
Accident ID: 79981

Date Adopted: 5/5/1976
NTSB Number: RAR-76-11
NTIS Number: PB-261005/AS

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