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Accident Report Detail

Rear End Collision of Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company Trains No. 586 and Extra 8072 North

Executive Summary

About 9:30 a.m. on December 28, 1981, Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company (L&N) northbound train No. 586 struck the rear of standing L&N train Extra 8072 North at New Johnsonville, Tennessee. Train No. 586 passed two consecutive wayside automatic block signals displaying an approach aspect (yellow) and a restricted proceed aspect (red), respectively, before it struck the rear of Extra 8072 North. The caboose and six cars of Extra 8072 North and five locomotive units and one car of No. 586 were derailed. The conductor of Extra 8072 North was killed, and the engineer and head brakeman of No. 586 were slightly injured. Damage was estimated at $998,313.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the lack of alertness of the engineer and head brakeman of train No. 586 in approaching the area of the accident and the failure of the engineer of train No. 586 to properly use the automatic train brakes to control the speed of the train in compliance with the speed requirements of the wayside automatic block signal aspects, so that the train could be stopped before it struck standing train Extra 8072 North. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the failure of the head brakeman to cause the speed of the train to be brought into conformance with the automatic block signal aspects, and the failure of the conductor to request clarification of a radio message from the dispatcher notifying the crewmembers of train No. 586 that Extra 8072 North was stopped ahead when he did not understand the message.

Accident Location: New Johnsonville , TN    
Accident Date: 12/28/1981
Accident ID: DCA82AR009

Date Adopted: 8/23/1982
NTSB Number: RAR-82-04
NTIS Number: PB82-916304

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