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Accident Report Detail

Derailment of CSX Transportation Coal Train V986-26

Executive Summary

​About 7:00 a.m. on January 30, 2000, eastbound loaded CSX Transportation (CSXT) coal train V986-26 lost effective braking while descending a section of track known as "17-mile grade" from Altamont to Bloomington, Maryland, and derailed 76 of its 80 "bathtub" high-side gondola cars when the train failed to negotiate curves at excessive speed. The derailed cars destroyed a nearby occupied residence, killing a 15-year-old boy and seriously injuring his mother. Three other occupants of the residence escaped with little or no injury. Track and equipment damages were estimated to be in excess of $3.2 million. There was no resulting fire or hazardous materials release.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the January 30, 2000, derailment of CSX Transportation train V986-26 near Bloomington, Maryland, was the railroad’s practice of including dynamic braking in determining maximum authorized speed without providing the engineer with real-time information on the status of the dynamic braking system.

Accident Location: Bloomington , MD    
Accident Date: 1/30/2000
Accident ID: ATL00FR003

Date Adopted: 3/5/2002
NTSB Number: RAR-02-02
NTIS Number: PB2002-916302