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Accident Report Detail

CSX Transportation Remote-Control Locomotive Struck and Killed Carman in Wauhatchie Rail Yard

Executive Summary

The information in this report is preliminary and will be either supplemented or corrected during the course of the investigation.

On April 13, 2019, about 5:40 p.m., eastern daylight time, a CSX Transportation (CSX) mechanical employee (carman) was struck and killed by a CSX remote-control locomotive (RCL) Y292-13 that was being used to switch railcars at the north end of the Wauhatchie Rail Yard in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (See figure 1.) At the time of the accident, the temperature was 70°F and the visibility was 10 miles or more. Earlier in the morning, light rain occurred in the area.


Figure 1: Diagram of CSX Wauhatchie Yard (northernmost section): tracks 11 (W11) and 14 (W14), north lead rail, and approximate striking point.

Prior to the accident, the struck carman had just completed work on track 11. The work he had been performing had required him to apply blue flag protection by placing a blue sign on track 11.

The carman got into his truck and drove it across the north lead and parked it near the switch for track 11. The carman exited his truck and walked to track 11 by crossing the north lead to remove the blue signal sign that he had placed between the rails. After removing the blue signal sign, he then returned towards the track 11 switch to remove his lock.

The RCL operator, who was riding on the rear of the third railcar, was moving the RCL off track 14 and onto the north lead when he saw the carman’s truck cross the track in front of his RCL. The operator stopped the RCL to allow the truck to clear the tracks. The RCL operator, after waiting a short amount of time and seeing no activity ahead, resumed moving the RCL. During this move, the RCL reached a speed of 9 mph.

The NTSB investigators reviewed video images recorded by a stationary yard camera. The investigators saw that the carman, who crossed the north lead at a 45-degree angle with his back towards the RCL, was struck and killed.

Parties to the investigation include the Federal Railroad Administration; the CSX Transportation; the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers; the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen; and the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen.

Probable Cause

The information in this report is preliminary. No probable cause determination is presented in this report.

Accident Location: Chattanooga , TN    
Accident Date: 4/13/2019
Accident ID: RRD19FR005

Date Adopted: 6/11/2019
NTSB Number: RRD19FR005-prelim
NTIS Number:  

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