RAILROAD ACCIDENT REPORT - DERAILMENT OF AMTRAK TRAIN NO. 4, THE SOUTHWEST LIMITED, ON THE ATCHISON, TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY, LAWRENCE, KANSAS, OCTOBER 2, 1979

About 6:10 a.m., on October 2, 1979, Amtrak passenger train No. 4, the Southwest Limited, derailed 3 locomotive units and 17 cars while moving through a 7 degree curve on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company's tracks at Lawrence, Kansas. The speed of the train was 78 mph. Of the 147 passengers and 30 crewmembers, 2 persons were killed and 69 persons were injured. Property damage was estimated at $4,634,330. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the operation of the train at an excessive rate of speed into a 7 degree curve. The engineer failed to reduce the speed of the train because of a missing speed-restriction sign, inoperative automatic train stop equipment, and his unfamiliarity with the route. Contributing to the accident were the assignment of an engineer who did not meet the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company's operating familiarization qualifications for the route, and a resume-speed sign placed within 1,100 feet of the missing speed-restriction sign.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Accident Investigation, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20594
  • Publication Date: 1980-4-29

Media Info

  • Pagination: 61 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00318337
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-RAR-80-4
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1980 12:00AM