RAILROAD ACCIDENT REPORT: DERAILMENT OF AMTRAK TRAIN ON LOUISVILLE AND NASHVILLE RAILROAD, NEW CASTLE, ALABAMA, JANUARY 16, 1977

About 4:15 a.m., on January 16, 1977, 1 locomotive unit and 12 cars of Amtrak train No. 315 derailed on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company's track near New Castle, Alabama. Seventy-six of the 129 persons on board the train were injured. Property and equipment damage was estimated to be $578.000. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the tipping of the east rail which caused the track gage to widen. The gage widened because the track structure was not able to withstand the lateral forces generated by oscillations of the locomotive trucks as the train moved around a 5 degrees curve. The oscillations were generated by variations in track alignment and superelevation that complied with Federal Track Safety Standards for Class 3 track and by the ineffectiveness of a vertical snubbing device on the second locomotive unit. As a result of the investigation of the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board submitted two recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration regarding operation of SDP-40-F locomotives, and one recommendation to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Accident Investigation, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20594
  • Publication Date: 1977-10-20

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures;
  • Pagination: 17 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00170077
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Transportation Safety Board
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-RAR-77-9
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 30 1978 12:00AM