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Accident Report Detail

 
​Safety Recommendation Report: Train Emergency Brake Communication

Executive Summary

​Ongoing Investigation

On October 4, 2018, at 7:40 p.m. mountain daylight time, eastbound Union Pacific (UP) freight train MGRCY04 (striking train) collided with the rear of stationary UP freight train MPCNP03 (stationary train) after cresting a hill and traveling down a descending grade of up to 1.58 percent for about 13 miles. The striking train consisted of 3 leading locomotives and 105 railcars. The engineer and conductor of the striking train were killed, and 3 locomotives and 57 railcars of the striking train derailed while 9 railcars of the stationary train derailed. Prior to the accident, the crew of the striking UP freight train reported problems with the train’s air brake system and radioed the UP Harriman Dispatch Center to advise them they had accelerated to 50 mph and were unable to stop.


Probable Cause

​Recomendations

As a result of this investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board makes the following safety recommendations:

To the Class I Railroads:

Review and issue guidance as necessary for the inspection of end-of-railcar air hose configurations to ensure the air hose configuration matches the intended design. (R-19-41)

Review and revise your air brake and train handling instructions for grade operations and two-way end-of-train device instructions to include: monitoring locomotive air flow meters, checking the status of communication between the head-of-train and end-of train devices before cresting a grade, and the actions to take if the air pressure at the rear of the train does not respond to an air brake application. (R-19-42)

To the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association:

Alert your member carriers to (1) inspect the end-of-railcar air hose configurations to ensure the hose configurations match the intended design and (2) review and revise their air brake and train handling instructions for grade operations and two-way end-of-train device instructions to include: monitoring locomotive air flow meters, checking the status of communication between the head-of-train and end-of-train devices before cresting a grade, and the actions to take if the air pressure from the rear of the train does not respond to an air brake application. (R-19-43)


Accident Location: Granite Canyon , WY USA  
Accident Date: 10/4/2018
Accident ID: RRD19FR001

Date Adopted: 9/16/2019
NTSB Number: RSR1902
NTIS Number:  

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