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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of Burlington Northern Railroad Company Freight Train No. MTC-0718

Executive Summary

About 4:35 p. m. on July 18, 1983, 58 cars of Burlington Northern Railroad Company freight train No. MTC-0718, moving about 52 mph, were derailed on the main track near Crystal City, Missouri. Two of the derailed cars came to rest in the Mississippi River. Within the train's 94 cars were 17 maintenance-of-way, ballast-laden hopper cars being transported to maintenance-of-way work locations north of St. Louis, Missouri. The train was being operated in revenue service without restriction. No one was injured in this accident, and no hazardous materials were involved. Damage was estimated to be about $1,058,330.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the displacement of the outer rail in a curve by a truck on a maintenance-of-way car, which could not slue to the track curvature because of a cracked and displaced centerplate. Contributing to the accident was the Burlington Northern Railroad Company's failure to enforce its inspection and maintenance procedures for maintenance-of-way cars or to impose restrictions on their movement in revenue freight trains. Also contributing to the accident was the Federal Railroad Administration's failure to establish car safety standards or operating restrictions for maintenance-of-way cars in revenue freight trains.

Accident Location: Crystal City , MO    
Accident Date: 7/18/1983
Accident ID: DCA83AR007

Date Adopted: 2/7/1984
NTSB Number: RAR-84-01
NTIS Number: PB84-916301

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