COLLISION OF MISSOURI PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY FREIGHT TRAIN EXTRA 615 SOUTH WITH A STANDING LOCOMOTIVE, COTULLA, TEXAS, DECEMBER 1, 1973

At 8:30 a.m., on Saturday, December 1, 1973, Missouri Pacific Railroad Company freight train Extra 615 South (train DMX) entered Cotulla, Texas. Train DMX was traveling on a nonsignalized main track at a speed of 35 to 40 mph. Just after it passed over a grade crossing, the train was diverted through a switch onto an adjacent track where an unmanned locomotive, a caboose, and 11 cars were standing. Train DMX collided with the standing locomotive before any appreciable braking. The collision derailed all of the locomotive units and 29 railroad cars. Three crew-members who were riding in the lead locomotive unit of train DMX were killed. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the establishment of a collision route for train DMX by the unauthorized operation of a switch by persons unknown.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Railroad Accident Report.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Transportation Safety
    Washington, DC  USA 
  • Publication Date: 1974-6-27

Media Info

  • Pagination: 39 p.

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00057960
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-RAR-74-3
  • Files: NTIS
  • Created Date: Nov 12 1974 12:00AM