Aerial view of the derailment site.

​Aerial view of the derailment site. (Courtesy of BNSF.)​

BNSF Railway Train Derailment

What Happened

​​​On March 30, 2023, about 12:58 a.m. local time, northbound BNSF Railway freight train L-TWI8801-29I derailed on the Marshall District at milepost 11.871 in Raymond, Minnesota due to catastrophic in-service rail failure (broken rail). Post accident inspections and evidence obtained indicate that track-train dynamics worsened a rail head sur​face condition until a complete sectional break out of the rail head occurred underneath the L-TWI8801-29L. The derailment resulted in approximatly 23 mixed freight rail cars, line 9-21 to derail on their sides, and rail cars lines 22-32 to derail in an accordion style near the point of derailment. There were 14 loaded hazardous materials cars throughout the train with 10 cars involved in the derailment containing ethanol. A precautionary 1/2-mile evacuation radius affecting about 800 residents was implemented by the Incident Commander based on information ascertained from the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG). There were no reported fatalities or injuries. ​

What We Found

​​​​As a result of the physical evidence, NTSB determined that the in-service rail failure (broken rail) that caused this accident was related to a rail head surface condition. While a final report for this investigation was not developed, the information related to the DOT 117 tank car design and vulnerability issues identified were addressed in NTSB investigation HMD22LR001. Read the report from NTSB investigation HMD22LR001 here.