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Accident Report Detail

 
Rear End Collision of Southern Pacific Transportation Company Freight Trains 02-Holat-21 and 01-BSMFK-20

Executive Summary

About 4:03 a.m., on July 24, 1979, Extra 7810 West (01-BSMFK-20) collided with the rear of Extra 8484 West (02-HOLAT-21) while it was standing in a siding at Thousand Palms, California. Both trains were owned by the Southern Pacific Transportation Company (SP). The engineer died following the collision as a result of smoke and fire, and four crewmembers were injured. Damage was estimated at $1,479,700.


Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the engineer, whose performance was significantly impaired by alcohol, to stop his train as required by the stop aspect displayed by the interlocking home signal at Thousand Palms and the failure of the head brakeman to take emergency action to stop the train before it collided with the standing train.


Accident Location: Thousand Palms , CA    
Accident Date: 7/24/1979
Accident ID: 79800

Date Adopted: 2/14/1980
NTSB Number: RAR-80-01
NTIS Number: PB80-158231

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