The information in this report is preliminary and will be either supplemented or corrected during the course of the investigation.
On August 22, at 9:38 p.m., Pacific daylight time, northbound Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) Blue Line train No. 9 collided head on with stopped southbound SacRT maintenance Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) No. 310 near Sacramento, California. The incident occurred on the N-Line, outbound track section near milepost 6.72. The equipment did not derail as a result of the collision. There were an estimated 27 passengers and crewmembers who had non life-threatening injuries and of those, 13 were transported to area hospitals. Preliminary data from the event recorders show SacRT light rail passenger train No. 9 was traveling about 32 mph at the point of collision when it struck stopped maintenance LRV No. 310. At the time of the accident, the sky was clear, with 2 mph wind, and the temperature was about 83°F.
Figure 1. Photo taken facing south. Passenger train No. 9 is to the right in the photo, with the maintenance LRV No. 310 to the left.
On the day of the accident, SacRT passenger train No. 9 was operating about 15 minutes behind its designated schedule. A maintenance train technician requested and received permission from the controller at the Metro Control Center to enter the mainline to complete postmaintenance intervention propulsion testing. After receiving permission, maintenance LRV No. 310 proceeded northbound on the outbound track. The technician made several throttle manipulations, reaching speeds of 50 mph before bringing the train to a stop. The technician then reversed ends and began operating southbound on the outbound track. Meanwhile, passenger train No. 9 was moving northbound on the outbound track toward maintenance LRV No. 310.
At the time of the accident, extra train movements were verbally authorized to occupy the main track. Regularly scheduled train movements were governed by signal indication. The territory was under SacRT Metro control with the radio operator located in the control center.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into this incident is ongoing. Future investigative activity will focus on rail operations of SacRT, signal system operations, the performance of SacRT employees, and management oversight of the property, both internal and external.
Parties to the investigation include the Federal Transit Administration, State of California Public Utilities Commission, Sacramento Regional Transit District, Amalgamated Transit Union, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.