RAILROAD ACCIDENT REPORT: DERAILMENT OF AMTRAK TRAIN ON BURLINGTON NORTHERN RAILROAD NEAR RALSTON, NEBRASKA, DECEMBER 16, 1976

About 2:45 a.m., on December 16,1976, 1 SDP-40F locomotive unit and 11 cars of Amtrak train No. 6 derailed when leaving a 2 degrees 30' curve on the Burlington Northern track near Ralston, Nebraska. Forty-eight of the 178 passengers, and 15 of the 19 crewmembers on the train were injured. Property damage was estimated to be $816,000. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the lateral movement of the high rail and widening of track gage when the deteriorated crossties were unable to withstand the lateral forces generated by the locomotive while the train was traveling at a speed of 53 mph. Contributing factors were the weakened crosstie spikehole condition and the existing wide gage that conformed to the Federal Track Safety Standards for Class 4 track. As a result of its investigation of the accident the National Transportation Safety Board submitted four recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration concerning its track safety standards.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Accident Investigation, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20594
  • Publication Date: 1977-10-6

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures;
  • Pagination: 25 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00170076
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Transportation Safety Board
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-RATR-77-8
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 30 1978 12:00AM