Historic Railway Disasters
16 Mar 99
Chicago: Death toll now 12 in 'City of New Orleans' train crash(railtec)
The death toll has risen to 12 in a train crash in Illinois involving Amtrak's 'City of New Orleans' and a truck loaded with heavy steel rods.
The accident occurred on Monday March 15, 1999 near the town of Bourbonnais around 80km (50 miles) to the south of Chicago. At about 21.40, a semi-trailer truck carrying heavy steel rods from the nearby Birmingham Steel Corporation's mill crossed in the path of the train at a grade crossing. The train consisted of 2 baggage cars and 14 passenger cars headed by two locomotives. It was carrying 196 passengers and 18 crewmembers. The locomotives both overturned and two baggage cars coupled behind the locomotives and a number of passenger carriages were derailed.
Witnesses said that the impact of the crash was heard several miles away. Immediately after the impact fire broke out in one of the engines and quickly spread to the cars behind.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is to mount an investigation into the accident.
Amtrak has been the United State's main rail passenger carrier for 27 years. In that time, it has suffered a number of serious accidents. It's worst accident in recent years was in Silver Spring, Maryland when a commuter train was in collision with the 'Capital Limited' in February 1996. Amtrak's worst-ever accident was on 22 December 1993 at Mobile Alabama when a barge struck a bridge over a bayou dislodging bridge supports. As the 'Sunset Limited' crossed the bridge, it collapsed plunging several cars into the murky water below. Forty-two people were killed.
VIA Rail passenger train collides with freight cars
30 Jan 2000
No room for complacency on crossings despite fewer accidents
30 Jan 2000
Where does corporate responsibility go now?
29 Jan 2000
71 hurt as trains collide
29 Jan 2000
Metrolink train derailed by oversized load
28 Jan 2000
Prohibition notice upheld by tribunal after Ladbroke Grove railway accident
27 Jan 2000
Passenger and freight trains collide in north west Russia
26 Jan 2000
Montana Rail Link and I&M Rail Link Launch New Highway-Rail Safety Program
21 Jan 2000
At least 8 killed, 120 injured after Amtrak train derails near Chicago
Birmingham Steel Corporation Issues Statement on Illinois Train Accident
Company Press Release
Vehicles on Tracks a Train Problem
National Transportation Safety Board
Images from Boubonnais
Explosives train derails
Collision on the Brunswick Line
Silver Spring, Maryland
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Copyright © David Fry 1999