NTSB: Remote-controlled locomotive killed rail worker

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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The NTSB has concluded that a rail worker was struck and killed by a remote-controlled car.

A remote-controlled locomotive struck and killed a CSX railroad employee back on April 13, and the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed it almost two months later.

Allen Lowe, who had worked for CSX for 24 years, was finishing up work on the north end of the Wauhatchie Rail Yard in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Track 11. According to the NTSB report, Lowe placed a blue signal sign on the track, got into his truck and moved across the north rails before parking it near the switch for track 11. Lowe then got out of the truck, walked back to track 11 by crossing the north rail, removed the blue sign and returned towards the track 11 switch to remove the lock.

During Lowe’s movement the RCL operator, riding on the rear of the third railcar, was moving the locomotive off track 14 and onto the north rail when he spotted Lowe’s truck cross the track in front of the locomotive. The locomotive was brought to a stop, then after waiting and seeing no activity ahead the operator moved it ahead at a speed of 9 mph. The NTSB, which reviewed video images recorded by a stationary yard camera, said Lowe’s back was toward the locomotive when he was struck.

Categories: Class 1, Freight, ON Track Maintenance, Track Maintenance
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