Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-79-076
Details
Synopsis: ON OCTOBER 12, 1979, AMTRAK PASSENGER TRAIN NO. 392, CONSISTING OF ONE LOCOMOTIVE UNIT AND FIVE COACHES, APPROACHED HARVEY, ILLINOIS, AT A SPEED OF 65 MPH WHERE IT WAS DIVERTED FROM TRACK NO. 4 TO TRACK NO. 3 AND COLLIDED WITH THE STANDING ILLINOIS CENTRAL GULF RAILROAD COMPANY (ICG) FREIGHT TRAIN NO. 51, CONSISTING OF 3 LOCOMOTIVE UNITS, 40 CARS, AND A CABOOSE. THE SUPERSTRUCTURE OF THE FIRST LOCOMOTIVE UNIT OF TRAIN NO. 51 WAS SHEARED FROM ITS BED WHEN THE UNIT WAS SHOVED UNDER THE SECOND UNIT AT IMPACT. THE LOCOMOTIVE AND FIRST CAR OF THE PASSENGER TRAIN (NO. 392) WERE TURNED ONTO THEIR SIDES. THE ENGINEER AND FRONT BRAKEMAN OF TRAIN NO. 51 WERE KILLED; THE ENGINEER, FIREMAN, OTHER CREWMEMBERS, AND 51 PASSENGERS ON TRAIN NO. 392 WERE INJURED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL GULF RAILROAD COMPANY: UNTIL POSITIVE SAFEGUARDS CAN BE PROVIDED FOR THE OPERATION OF SWITCHES, RESTRICT SPEEDS THROUGH THE AREA OF THE HARVEY CROSSOVER SO THAT TRAINS CAN BE STOPPED SHORT OF A SWITCH WHICH IS NOT PROPERLY ALIGNED, BUT NOT EXCEEDING 20 MPH. (URGENT)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Harvey, IL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79973
Accident Reports: Head End Collision of Amtrak Train No. 392 and ICG Train No. 51
Report #: RAR-80-03
Accident Date: 10/12/1979
Issue Date: 12/13/1979
Date Closed: 7/16/1980
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Illinois Central Railroad Company (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Illinois Central Railroad Company
Date: 7/16/1980
Response: The Safety Board is pleased that train operating speeds were restricted through the Harvey crossover area after the accident and have been continued in effect, notwithstanding the installation of the electric lock switches which provide positive safeguards. Recommendation R-79-76 will be classified "Closed-Acceptable Action."

From: Illinois Central Railroad Company
To: NTSB
Date: 4/30/1980
Response: ILLINOIS CENTRAL GULF RAILROAD LTR: RESTRICTED TRAIN OPERATING SPEEDS THROUGH THE HARVEY CROSSOVER IMPOSED SINCE THE ACCIDENTS HAVE BEEN CONTINUED IN EFFECT, NOTWITHSTANDING THE INSTALLATION OF THE ELECTRIC LOCK SWITCHES POSITIVE SAFEGUARDS.