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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation


Document Series
Accident Investigations
Subject Accident Investigations
CSX, rear end collision, switch grinder, fatigue

On Sunday, February 20, 2022, at 12:18 a.m., EST, a Loram Switch Grinder (RGS-9) collided with the rear-end Distributed Power Unit (DPU) of locomotive No. CSXT 3144, of train Q426-19 (Q426) at Milepost (MP) QB 59.9 on the Boston Subdivision in Spencer, Worcester  County, Massachusetts.

Damages totaled $1,008,729, with $1,000,000 in damage to the RGS-9, $8,649 to the DPU, and $80 to the track structure. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) post-accident drug and alcohol testing was conducted on the Pilot and Operator. The weather at the time of the collision was described as dark with clear skies and a temperature of 25°F. This collision occurred on an Amtrak route with no hazardous materials involved. This was not PTC preventable. 

It was determined that the collision was caused by CSX's failure to ensure the Pilot complied with on-track safety rules pertaining to the movement of on-track equipment. Contributing to the collision was CSX’s failure to ensure all affected roadway workers understood and  acknowledged that a train was ahead during an on-track safety briefing. Additionally, CSX’s failure to monitor their employee’s training and qualifications to ensure that a properly qualified person was supervising the RGS-9’s movement contributed to this accident. Excessive fatigue was present, therefore there is a strong likelihood that fatigue contributed to the cause or severity of the collision.

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Last updated: Sunday, February 20, 2022