Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Safety investigator says signal apparently not followed before Hoxie crash

Posted By on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 7:29 AM

KAIT reports on news from a National Transportation Safety Board team investigating the Sunday collision of two Union Pacific trains at Hoxie that left two dead and two injured.

NTSB Investigator Mike Hiller explained that the tracks in the area consist of two main tracks that converge into one main track.

"The southbound train was operating on the double main track and the operation plan was to stop this train at a control point and wait for the northbound train to the diverge on the unoccupied double track," Hiller said. "We know this did not happen and a collision occurred right at the control point."

Hiller said the NTSB is still in the process of gathering evidence from the signal system to determine why the train headed toward Little Rock did not stop. Hiller said investigations Monday show the crew was given signals for "advanced approach."

"This signals the train crew to slow their train and be ready to stop at the next signal."

Hiller said the northbound train was given signals for a "diverging route."

"This means the northbound train would leave the single track and switch to the unoccupied track on the double main," Hiller said during Monday's press conference.

The NTSB also talked about materials on the train. None of the cars carrying chemicals was damaged except for a tanker carrying alcohol that caught fire.

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