NTSB Sets Meeting on New Mexico Train Crash

The incident occurred about 6:23 a.m. Mountain daylight time when a westbound freight train with nine locomotives and 79 cars collided with a standing train, causing all nine locomotives to derail. The moving train struck the stationary one after traveling through a misaligned switch, according to the safety board.

The National Transportation Safety Board has scheduled a March 13 meeting to determine the probable cause of an accident involving two freight trains in Roswell, N.M., on April 28, 2015. At the Washington, D.C., meeting, the board will issue safety recommendations intended to prevent similar accidents in the future.

The meeting will be available as a live webcast; the link to the webcast will be available shortly before the start of the meeting at http://ntsb.capitolconnection.org/.

The incident occurred about 6:23 a.m. Mountain daylight time when a westbound Southwestern Railroad freight train with nine locomotives and 79 cars collided with a standing SWRR train near Dexter, N.M. The moving train struck the stationary one after traveling through a misaligned switch at the east end of Chisum siding where the stationary train had previously worked, according to NTSB.

The board's previous information about the event said the accident train engineer placed the train into emergency braking about 500 feet prior to taking a diverging route from the main track into the Chisum siding. The train was travelling about 32 mph and struck the lead locomotive of the standing train with an impact speed of 31 mph, and that caused all nine locomotives to derail. Two locomotives and three empty hopper cars of the stationary train also derailed.

The board reported initially that the engineer and conductor jumped from the lead locomotive of the striking train prior to impact; the engineer was fatally injured and the conductor was life-flighted to a regional hospital in Lubbock, Texas with serious injuries. Weather at the time of the accident was 45 degrees with sunny skies and visibility of 10 miles, according to the safety board.

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