Chatsworth Train Collision

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Collision of Metrolink Train 111 with Union Pacific Freight Train LOF65-12 Chatsworth, California

Collision of Metrolink Train 111 with Union Pacific Freight Train LOF65-12 Chatsworth, California


About 4:22 p.m., Pacific daylight time, on Friday, September 12, 2008, westbound Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) Metrolink train 111, consisting of one locomotive and three passenger cars, collided head-on with eastbound Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight train LOF65-12 near Chatsworth, California. The Metrolink train derailed its locomotive and lead traveller car; the UP train derailed its 2 locomotives and 10 of its 17 carsThe force of the collision initiated the locomotive of train 111 to telescope into the lead traveller adviser by about 52 feet. The accident resulted in 25 fatalities, encompassing the engineer of train 111. Emergency response agencies described conveying 102 hurt travellers to localized hospitals. Damages were estimated to be in excess of $12 million (Flaccus, 2008).

As of 7 a.m. Saturday morning, at least 17 Metrolink passengers were confirmed dead and at least 130 injured, many of them critically. Metrolink officials reported that estimated that approximately 250 passengers have been aboard the train. The passenger train was being pulled by a locomotive. Authorities described that the locomotive came off of its wheels and shoved back into the first traveller car at what those on the scene referred to as the "crush point" of the train. Metrolink officials reported that their trains typically travel at approximately 45 miles per hour (Uranga, 2008).

More than 100 firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department paired with Burbank police and throngs of other emergency personnel flocked to the scene. People who lived beside the locality conveyed water, towels, and other provision to travellers who had got away from the wreckage. One woman named Corey spoke to Fox 11 News about how her whole house shook at the time of the crash (Clerici, 2008).

Root Cause and Fault

The freight train was directed by two SD70Ace locomotives, UP 8485 and 8491, weighing more than 500,000 pounds (227,000 kg) each. The Metrolink locomotive telescoped into the passenger compartment of the first passenger car and caught fire.[5] All three locomotives, the leading Metrolink passenger vehicle and seven freight cars, were derailed, and both lead locomotives and the passenger car dropped over (Rogers,2008).

The root cause of collision is that collision occurred after the Metrolink passenger train engineer, 46-year-old Robert M. Sanchez, apparently failed to obey a red, stop signal that indicated it was not safe to proceed into the single pathway section. The train dispatcher's computer at an isolated control center in Pomona did not showing a warning former to the misfortune as asserted by the NTSB. Metrolink initially reported that the dispatcher tried in vain to contact the train crew to warn them; but the NTSB contradicted this report, saying the dispatcher noticed a problem only after the accident, and was notified by the passenger train's conductor first (Landsberg, 2008).

Both trains were moving toward each other at the time of the ...