On February 20, 2016, about 6:10 a.m., Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS) train 298 struck and killed a NS terminal trainmaster in New Orleans, Louisiana. The train was operating on main track 2 at milepost 186 of the Alabama division, NE subdivision. At the time of the accident, the trainmaster was most likely placing a shunt on main track 2 to perform a train-crew efficiency test. The National Weather Service had issued a dense fog advisory for the area from 4:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. on the day of the accident. Visibility was reported as 1/4 mile in dense fog.
We determined that the probable cause of the accident was the trainmaster not detecting the presence of an oncoming train and removing himself from main track 2 for unknown reasons.