RAILROAD ACCIDENT REPORT. COLLISION OF THE STATE-OF-THE-ART TRANSIT CARS WITH A STANDING CAR, HIGH SPEED GROUND TEST CENTER, PUEBLO, COLORADO, AUGUST 11, 1973

On August 11, 1973, the UMTA state-of-the-art rail rapid transit cars (SOAC's) collided with a standing railroad gondola car at the U.S. Department of Transportation's High Speed Ground Test Center near Pueblo, Colo. The SOAC's were being operated on the transit test track when they were inadvertently diverted through a switch onto an adjacent track and into the gondola. The motorman on the SOAC was killed. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this crash was the failure of a locomotive crewmember to align a switch properly and the failure of the motorman to detect the open switch in sufficient time to stop the SOAC's short of a gondola standing on the track. Contributing to the accident were the failure of the Transportation Systems Center's representatives (UMTA's systems manager) to implement operating procedures that would secure the intended pathway and the absence of a systematic risk management program at the Highway Speed Ground Test Center. This report examines the crashworthiness of the SOAC's and the institutional errors that led to the accident. Recommendations intended to prevent a recurrence of the accident and to improve crashworthiness of rail transit cars are directed to the Federal Railroad Administration and the Urban Mass Transportation Administration.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Railroad Accident Report. This report contains Safety Recommendations R-74-13 through R-74-21.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20594
  • Publication Date: 1974-5-1

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: 53 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00057881
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Transportation Safety Board
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-RAR-74-2
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 12 1981 12:00AM