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Accident Report Detail

Preliminary Report Railroad: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority Train Struck Two Track Workers

Executive Summary

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

On Monday, July 8, 2019, about 5:21 p.m. local time, a northbound Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) train struck two SEPTA track workers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A southbound train was operating on track 2, just north of the SEPTA Erie interlocking and passed the track workers. Simultaneously, a northbound Ridge-Spur train, struck the track workers after leaving Erie Station. One track worker was killed, and the other worker was injured (non-life-threatening) and transported to a local hospital. Both track workers were inspecting the track inspection and making light repairs. Shortly after the accident, the train was evacuated, and passengers were escorted to Erie Station without injuries. The figure is a diagram of the accident scene.

Diagram of the accident scene. 

Figure. Diagram of the accident scene.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators inspected the track, signal system, and mechanical equipment; obtained records for operations, the signal system, mechanical equipment, and track and engineering; and interviewed train operators, train dispatchers, the surviving track worker, and SEPTA management personnel. Additionally, on the evenings of July 9, 2019, and July 10, 2019, the investigative team conducted several sight-distance observations using some of the train equipment involved in the accident at the accident site.

Documentation regarding SEPTA track workers’ and operators’ qualifications, training, and scheduling were also collected.

The NTSB investigation is ongoing. Future investigative activity will focus on SEPTA safety and operating rules, roadway worker protection, and safety training and oversight.

Parties to the investigation include the Federal Transit Administration, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, SEPTA, and the Transportation Workers Union.

Probable Cause

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

Accident Location: Philadelphia , PA USA  
Accident Date: 7/8/2019
Accident ID: RRD19FR009

Date Adopted: 10/1/2019
NTSB Number: RRD19FR009-preliminary-report
NTIS Number:  

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