Discussion relating to the NS operations. Official web site can be found here: NSCORP.COM.
Posts: 1592
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:11 am


Post by shlustig » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:00 am

COOSA is a siding located between Birmingham and Atlanta.

Train #22R (2 units, 81 cars, 8276',6046 tons) Dp. Norris Yard @2:30 PM and was followed by Train #226 (3 units, 23 IM cars, 4580', 3582 tons) at 2:50PM.

The train dispatcher elected to put #22R into the siding at COOSA to be runaround by #226. 22R stopped in the siding with the rear end still on the circuit for the siding switch, so the switch remained lined for the siding. #226 had complied with signal indications approaching that location but misinterpreted the "Retricting" aspect on the approach signal as a "Clear" due to the apparent false illumination of the Green light. 226 increased speed from 5 mph to 53 mph and then observed the "Stop" signal at COOSA as the train exited a curve. The Engineer made an emergency application, but impact speed was about 45mph. The 3 units and head 7 cars plus 3 loaded autoracks on the 22R were derailed.

Estimated damages were $5,200,000.

Sight distance tests on the following 2 days at the similar times revealed that the Green light appeared to be illuminated along with the Red lights of the "Restricting" aspect.

After about 18 months, the NTSB released its Accident Report which confirmed this anomaly and said that NS and other railroads should better instruct their operating crews on the signal aspect and indication rules.

Return to “Norfolk Southern”