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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of Amtrak Passenger Train 8 Operating on the Soo Line Railroad

Executive Summary

On October 9, 1986, eastbound Amtrak passenger train 8 derailed in Fall River, Wisconsin. The train was to cross over from the eastward to the westward track in the town of Fall River. Train 8 entered the crossover at 70 mph and the locomotive units overturned. The authorized speed for the crossover was 10 mph. Two locomotive units and 10 passenger cars derailed, the fireman was killed, two crewmembers were injured seriously, and two received moderate injuries. Of the 215 passengers on board, 26 were injured.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the Soo Line Railroad's procedures for crossing trains over on main line tracks which defeated the protection of the signal system. Contributing to the accident was the heavy workload of the dispatcher and operator. Also contributing to the accident was the lack of adequate industry and Federal rules regarding the functioning and testing of radio systems used in dispatching trains.

Accident Location: Fall River , WI    
Accident Date: 10/9/1986
Accident ID: DCA87MR001

Date Adopted: 12/12/1987
NTSB Number: RAR-87-06
NTIS Number: PB87-916307

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