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Accident Report Detail

Rear End Collision of Consolidated Rail Corporation Freight Trains ALPG-2 and APJ-2

Executive Summary

About 5:16 a.m., e.d.t., on October 1, 1979, Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail) eastbound freight train ALPG-2 struck the rear of standing Conrail eastbound freight train APJ-2 on the No. 2 main track near Royersford, Pennsylvania. The engineer and conductor of ALPG-2 were killed. The locomotive unit of ALPG-2 was derailed and destroyed. The caboose of APJ-2 and a total of 20 cars were derailed. Damage was estimated to be $562,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the conductor of train ALPG-2, who was operating the train without authority and under the influence of marijuana, to comply with a "stop and proceed" signal aspect located 3,600 feet from the collision site and to respond to flagging protection provided by the rear brakeman of train APJ-2 and stop the train. Contributing to the accident was the conductor's failure to perform his assigned duties by (1) ensuring that the head brakeman performed his duties in his assigned location in the locomotive; and (2) ensuring that the engineer was physically fit and capable of operating the train in conformity with all applicable rules and regulations. Also contributing was the absence of an adequate backup system to control the train in the event that the crew failed to do so.

Accident Location: Royersford , PA    
Accident Date: 10/1/1979
Accident ID: 79778

Date Adopted: 2/14/1980
NTSB Number: RAR-80-02
NTIS Number: PB80-162977

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