Two Trains Collide Head-On

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At 5:54 AM on Wednesday June 14th, 2006 two Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains were involved in a head-on collision.

One of the locomotives had a camera on board that captured the incident. While no one was killed in the incident, the crews in the train with the camera on board were seriously injured.

If you look closely, you can see someone from the other train bailing out shortly before the collision (0:43 in the clip)



From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by if.


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Since someone's commenting based on partial reads of the report, I'll comment based on my read of the report...

The chemical found in the EB train's crewman was a metabolite of cocaine and it is unknown how long ago the actual cocaine might have been taken or if the person was impaired.

The railroad's attorney, a government agent, a railmen's union rep and others were aboard a locomotive that did a reenactment at the same time of day within a short time after the accident which seems to show that the sun was not a factor, according to all who were aboard the loco'. These observations were correlated with calculations from the US Naval Observatory as to the time of sunrise and so on. They were operating in the early morning, and of course the sun rises in the east. According to the sketch the rails run directly north-south, so the Sun is shining perpendicular to the direction the driver would have to look. It's hard to imagine the sun being much of a factor.

What I don't understand is how the crew didn't operate on the assumption that they were meeting another train that they were going to have to wait for. If you're going to the movies and the traffic light in front of the cinema appears green, you still go into the cinema parking lot, because that is the plan. You don't go speeding past the cinema because the signal is green. In a similar way, the errant train's failure to wait seems at odds with the idea that the plan was for that train to wait for the second train before proceeding.

@W. Smith: Full reverse would have worked about as well for the trains as it did for the Titanic. Nice reference though.
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The report shows that the conductor for the east bound train had cocaine in his system. There is also concern that the angle of the sun made it difficult to see the color of the signal. I hope the injured crew feel better sooner then later.
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@Tibo: Thanks for the PDF! The train with the guys who bailed in the video were the ones at fault because they failed to slow or stop for multiple signals. What's worse is that the injured members of the train with the camera reported that none of the guys who jumped came over to help them after the accident. The reason they didn't jump was that they were travelling too fast and thought that they might be able to get the engine on to the other track just before being hit.
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