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Accident Report Detail

Head End Collision of Amtrak Passenger Train No. 74 and Conrail Train OPSE-7

Executive Summary

About 4:12 p.m., on November 7, 1980, Conrail freight train OPSE-7 struck the head-end of Amtrak train No. 74 while it was standing on track No. 2 at Dobbs Ferry, New York. The lead locomotive unit of train OPSE-7 overrode and destroyed the operating cab of the power car of train No. 74. Of the estimated 234 persons aboard the trains, 75 passengers and 9 crewmembers were injured. Damage to the equipment was estimated at $915,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the OW operator to apply a blocking device to the signal lever which permitted him to clear the signal and allowed train No. 74 to proceed on an occupied track, and Conrail's condoning the transmission of train orders without requiring the operator to display the train order signal. Contributing to the accident were the improper training and inadequate supervision of the operator and the failure of Conrail to provide a reasonable means of displaying train order signals at OW. Contributing to the injuries were the design of the seats and lack of emergency evacuation instructions.

Accident Location: Dobbs Ferry , NY    
Accident Date: 11/7/1980
Accident ID: DCA81AR007

Date Adopted: 4/28/1981
NTSB Number: RAR-81-04
NTIS Number: PB81-204869

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