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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of Western Pacific Railroad Company Freight Train Extra Up 3734 West (Sealand 6)

Executive Summary

About 6:55 p.m., P.s.t., on April 9, 1980, Western Pacific Railroad Company westbound freight train Extra UP 3734 West (Sealand 6), had its caboose, a pusher locomotive behind the caboose, and seven freight cars derailed while crossing the Industrial Parkway overpass at Hayward, California. Of the nine crewmembers, two train crewmembers were killed and two were injured. Three locomotive units and the caboose were destroyed. Damage was estimated at $1,382,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the derailment of the caboose, which was caused by compressive forces resulting from excessive locomotive power applied behind the caboose on an undulating gradient. The derailment was the result of the failure of the responsible supervisors to insure that the train was powered and managed in a manner consistent with the rules, timetable instructions, and conventional operating practices; the failure of the assistant superintendent to insure that the crewmembers knew their train's correct tonnage and speed classification; and the failure of the Western Pacific Railroad management to insure that supervisors responsible for making critical operating decisions were properly trained for their roles. Contributing to the accident was the excessive speed of the train and the failure of the director of train operations to insure that the train had adequately fueled locomotive power.

Accident Location: Hayward , CA    
Accident Date: 4/9/1980
Accident ID: 79807

Date Adopted: 9/30/1980
NTSB Number: RAR-80-10
NTIS Number: PB81-140055

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