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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of Freight Train H-BALTI-31 Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company

Executive Summary

About 4:10 a.m. on February 1, 1996, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company (ATSF) freight train H-BALT1-31, en route from Barstow, California, to Los Angeles, was traveling westbound on the ATSF south main track when it derailed at milepost 60.4 near Cajon Junction, California. After the derailment and the subsequent rail car pileup, which involved five cars containing hazardous materials, a fire ignited that engulfed the train and the surrounding area. The conductor and the brakeman sustained fatal injuries; the engineer suffered serious injuries.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the derailment of freight train H-BALT1-31 was an undetermined restriction or blockage that prevented the train crew from achieving and maintaining adequate train braking force and also the lack of adequate Federal Railroad Administration and industry, specifically the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company, regulations, policies, procedures, and standards to consistently utilize two-way end-of-train devices as a redundant braking system to protect trains from catastrophic brake system failure.

Accident Location: Cajon Junction , CA    
Accident Date: 2/1/1996
Accident ID: DCA96MR002

Date Adopted: 12/11/1996
NTSB Number: RAR-96-05
NTIS Number: PB96-916305

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