On August 17, 2014, at 2:28 a.m. central daylight time, southbound Union Pacific Railroad freight train IMASNL-16 collided with northbound Union Pacific freight train IQNLPI-17 at milepost 228.6, while traversing the turnout at control point Y-229 on the Union Pacific Hoxie subdivision in Hoxie, Arkansas. As a result of the collision, the engineer and the conductor from the southbound train died, and the engineer and the conductor from the northbound train were seriously injured.
The following safety issues are covered in this report:
Fatigue and Employee Work Schedules: Regulatory requirements to use science-based tools, such as biomathematical models, are needed to reduce start time variability that results in irregular work-rest cycles and train crew fatigue
Medical Issues: Regulatory requirements for screening, evaluating, and ensuring adequate treatment standards for sleep apnea and other sleep disorders for railroad employees in safety-sensitive positions
Union Pacific Railroad Medical Rules: Union Pacific Railroad needs: (1) medical rules that would require railroad employees in safety-sensitive positions to report all diagnosed sleep disorders; and (2) to perform periodic evaluations to ensure the condition is appropriately treated
Automated Systems that Reset Alertness Devices: An automatic horn sequencer prevented the operation of an electronic alertness device that was designed to help the southbound train crewmembers maintain vigilance in the locomotive cab by monitoring engineer activity and applying the train brakes should the device fail to detect activity for a predetermined period of time
Positive Train Control: A functioning positive train control system would have prevented this accident