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Casselton, North Dakota
December 30, 2013
The video comes from the forward-facing on-board image recorders from the two trains involved in the accident. Video from the Grain Train lead locomotive 6990 was downloaded from the undamaged GE Lococam on-board image recorder. Parametric data from the Grain Train lead locomotive 6990 was downloaded from the undamaged event recorder. Video from the Crude Oil Train lead locomotive 4934 was obtained from data transmitted wirelessly when the emergency brakes were applied, and parametric data was downloaded from the trailing distributed power unit locomotive 6684.
The video begins at 14:08:37 Central Standard Time (CST) with the view from the front of the Grain Train as it travels westbound on main track 1. The text “Grain Train #6990” and the speed of the train are displayed at the bottom center of the screen. The westbound direction of travel is briefly indicated by a text annotation. The train passes a track switch and a vehicle belonging to a signal maintainer at 14:09:06; the vehicle is labeled by a text annotation for about 10 seconds as the train approaches the vehicle. The front end of the crude oil train begins to be visible on the adjacent track to the left at about 14:09:41, and it is labeled with a text annotation. The derailment of the Grain Train occurs at 14:09:57, after which time a digital counter is shown on the right in the image, indicating the time in seconds since the derailment. A text annotation indicates that the emergency brakes on the Grain Train were applied at 14:10:13, uncommanded by the train crew. At 14:10:33, the lead locomotive of the Crude Oil Train passes the lead locomotive of the Grain Train.
At 14:11:02, the video switches to the view from the front of the Crude Oil Train as it travels eastbound on main track 2. The text “Crude Oil Train #4934” and the speed of the train are displayed at the bottom center of the screen. The eastbound direction of travel is briefly indicated by a text annotation. A text annotation indicates an engineer-induced emergency brake application on the Crude Oil Train occurred at 14:11:03. A
text annotation also points out the 45th car in the Grain Train, which is fouling main track 2. The Crude Oil Train strikes the 45th car in the Grain Train at 14:11:12, leading to derailment of the Crude Oil Train, which departs main track 2 to the right and apparently comes to rest once impacting the built-up ballast supporting a parallel set of railroad tracks.
The video includes an audio overlay of radio traffic broadcast over radio channel 70, with communications from the Grain Train, the Crude Oil Train, the dispatcher and the signal maintainer passed by the Grain Train at 14:09:06. The audio begins with a call from the signal maintainer to the crew of the Grain Train at 14:10:31, and ends at 14:11:59 after the crew of the Crude Oil Train have reported the derailment and subsequent fire to the dispatcher.