RAILROAD ACCIDENT REPORT--DERAILMENT OF AMTRAK TRAIN NO. 7, THE EMPIRE BUILDER, ON BURLINGTON NORTHERN TRACK, GLACIER PARK, MONTANA, MARCH 14, 1980

About 4:00 p.m., on March 14, 1980, westbound Amtrak passenger train No. 7, the Empire Builder, derailed two locomotive units and eight cars while moving at 37 mph through a 6 deg. 8 min. curve on the Burlington Northern track at Glacier Park, Montana. Of the 170 passengers and 20 crewmembers, 115 persons were injured; 35 of the injured were hospitalized. Property damage was estimated to be $546,800. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the overturning of the outside rail of a 6 deg. 8 min. curve because the improperly maintained track could not sustain the lateral force generated by the acceleration of the locomotive in the curve. Contributing to the derailment was the failure of the railroad to issue a temporary slow order pending replacement of several defective rails.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Accident Investigation, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20594
  • Publication Date: 1980-8-12

Media Info

  • Pagination: 36 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00326543
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-RAR-80-6
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 18 1981 12:00AM