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Accident Report Detail

 
Penn Central Transportation Co. Freight Train Derailment, Passenger Train Collision with Hazardous Material Car

Executive Summary

At 8:50 p.m., October 8, 1970, Penn Central Transportation Company's freight train derailed near Sound View, Connecticut. Freight cars obstructed track in the path of Penn Central passenger train. The passenger train struck the freight cars, puncturing an LPG tank car designated as "empty." The derailed units of the passenger' train passed through ignited gases from the punctured tank car and crossed a railroad bridge. Train crewmembers and passengers were injured. The Safety Board has determined that the probable cause of the derailment of the freight train was the breakage of a truck side of a car on the freight train which followed a progressive fatigue crack failure. The breakage of the truck side resulted in damage to a turnout, which caused derailment of the following cars.


Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the derailment of the freight train was the breakage of a truck side flame of a car on the freight train which followed a progressive fatigue crack failure. The fatigue crack was probably caused by increased shock loading on the side frame due to improper application of a 40-ton spring package in a car which carried 50 tons. The breakage of the truck side resulted in damage to a turnout, which was the immediate cause of derailment of the following cars.

The cause of the collision, derailment, and damage to the passenger train was the obstruction of track No 2 by derailed cars of the freight train. The cause of injuries to the crew of the passenger train locomotive and to the crew of the freight train caboose was the absence of systematic crash protection design of the railroad equipment.


Accident Location: Sound View , CT    
Accident Date: 10/8/1970
Accident ID: 79990

Date Adopted: 12/22/1971
NTSB Number: RAR-72-01
NTIS Number: PB-207621

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