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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of Amtrak Train No. 8, The Empire Builder, on Burlington Northern Track

Executive Summary

About 5:50 p.m. on March 28, 1979, Amtrak train No. 8, The Empire Builder, operating on Burlington Northern track, derailed nine cars at Lohman, Montana. Forty-eight persons were injured in the derailment, and the property damage was estimated to be $333,500.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the cracking from overheating of the right rear wheel on the trailing truck of baggage car 1248. The cracked wheel moved inward off the axle seat and decreased the wheel-to-wheel gage. Contributing to the accident was the inadequate maintenance and inspection of the car, which allowed it to continue in service in violation of minimum safety standards.

Accident Location: Lohman , MT    
Accident Date: 3/28/1978
Accident ID: 79976

Date Adopted: 8/2/1979
NTSB Number: RAR-79-07
NTIS Number: PB-299067/AS

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