FRA releases accident report on Princeton, Ind., derailment

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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David C. Lester

The Federal Railroad Administration just released its Accident Investigation Report on the derailment of a CSX freight train in Princeton, Ind. on June 17, 2018.  The train derailed 22 loads and one empty, and was carrying mixed freight and tank cars.  Three auto rack cars on an adjacent siding were hit by the derailing train.  The entire consist of the train was two locomotives, 89 loaded cars, and five unloaded cars.

Six of the derailed cars were tank cars carrying hazardous material, liquified petroleum gas.  While all six of the tank cars derailed, two ruptured and caught fire.  The report says that about $1,520,252 worth of equipment damage occurred, along with $283,656 in track and structures damage.

The conclusion of the report is that a thermal misalignment, or sun kink, occurred in the rails as a coal train rolled over the tracks, prior to the train that derailed.  A forward-facing camera on the lead locomotive of the coal train indicated that there was not a thermal misalignment.  The engineer of the train that derailed, however, did observe a sunkink, and was notifying the dispatcher as the train was derailing.

The report notes that the temperature was 89 degrees F when the derailment occurred, and the temperature was 92 degrees F 2.5 hours before the derailment.  The track in this area was inspected on June 12, June 15, June 16, and June 17, the day of the derailment.

The FRA report says that no injuries were reported, and that this was not a PTC-preventable accident.


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Categories: Ballast, Ties, Rail, Class 1, Freight, News, Railroad News, Safety/Training, Track Structure
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