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Accident Report Detail

Rear End Collision of Union Pacific Railroad Company Freight Trains

Executive Summary

About 3:06 p.m., on October 16, 1980, Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) freight train Extra 3749 West (NPH-16) struck the rear of UP grain train Extra 3557 West (SGTLB-635) while it was standing about 100 feet west of intermediate signal No. 5517 near Hermosa, Wyoming. Two train crewmembers were killed and two crewmembers were injured. The 3 locomotive units of NPH-16 and 16 cars, including the caboose, of SGTLB-635 were derailed. Total damage was estimated to be $993,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the inadequacy of Union Pacific rules in explaining train handling and braking procedures, along with the engineer's lack of comprehension of those rules and his inadequate handling of the train's brakes which resulted in his failure to bring the train to a stop as required before reaching signal No. 5517. Further, there was a lack of necessary communication among train crewmembers and with the dispatcher.

Accident Location: Hermosa , WY    
Accident Date: 10/16/1980
Accident ID: DCA81AR002

Date Adopted: 4/7/1981
NTSB Number: RAR-81-03
NTIS Number: PB81-195448

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