Special Investigation Report

Maryland Transit Administration Light Rail Vehicle Accidents at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport Transit Station Near Baltimore, Maryland February 13 and August 15, 2000

NTSB Number SIR-01/02
NTIS Number PB2001-917005
PDF

Abstract: In 2000, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) experienced two similar accidents in the same location just 6 months apart. Both accidents involved the failure of an MTA light rail vehicle (LRV) train to stop at the designated stopping point at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport Light Rail Station (BWI Airport Station). In both cases, the train struck a hydraulic bumping post apparatus at the end of the track. The Safety Board's investigation of the two accidents indicated that, although the direct cause of each accident was different, aspects of the MTA rail transit operation common to the two accidents influenced both their outcomes. Consequently, the Safety Board developed a special investigation report to address the safety factors affecting both accidents. The first accident occurred about 2:37 p.m. (eastern standard time) on February 13, 2000, when MTA train 24 (composed of a single LRV), en route from Baltimore to the BWI Airport, struck the hydraulic bumping post at the terminus of track No. 1 at the BWI Airport Station and derailed. The force of the collision detached the bumping post from the track, and the front of the train, which was lodged against the bumping post, was elevated about 3 1/2 feet into the air. Train 24 carried 26 people (25 passengers and 1 operator), 18 of whom were injured. Five of those injured had serious injuries. The MTA estimated the cost of the accident at $924,000.

The second accident occurred about 7:14 a.m. (eastern daylight time) on August 15, 2000, when MTA train 22 (composed of two LRVs), en route from Baltimore to the BWI Airport, struck the hydraulic bumping post at the terminus of track No. 2 at the BWI Airport Station and derailed. The bumping post separated from its attachment to the track and came to rest in an inverted position. The leading LRV of the train came to rest on top of the overturned bumping post and about 4 1/4 feet up in the air. The roof of this LRV was partially embedded into the ceiling structure of the terminal building. Train 22 carried 22 people (21 passengers and 1 operator), 17 of whom were injured. None had life-threatening injuries. The MTA estimated the cost of the accident at $935,000.

This special investigation report discusses the following safety issues:

As a result of its investigation of these accidents, the Safety Board makes recommendations to the Federal Transit Administration, U.S. rail transit systems, and the MTA.