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Accident Report Detail

Side Collision of Southern Railway Company Trains Nos. 1 and 152

Executive Summary

About 2:53 a.m. on October 8, 1977, Southern Railway Company train No. 1, The Crescent, entered a crossover from the main track into the Spencer Yard at Spencer, North Carolina, and sideswiped freight cars which were being assembled as train No. 152 on an adjacent yard track. Four locomotive units and five cars of The Crescent and seven cars of train No. 152 were derailed. Twenty-six persons received minor injuries, and damage was estimated to be $250,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the switch circuit controller to cause a red aspect to be displayed at the entrance to the signal block. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the Southern's failure to insure by enforceable, specific rules that conflicting routes were not established for The Crescent and train No. 152.

Accident Location: Spencer , NC    
Accident Date: 10/8/1977
Accident ID: 79770

Date Adopted: 5/11/1978
NTSB Number: RAR-78-03
NTIS Number: PB-282426/AS

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