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NTSB REPORT on Iowa Train Crash Caused by misaligned switch


According to the NTSB, a misaligned switch leading into a rail yard caused a freight train to slam into some empty train cars in Bettendorf.

On July 14, 2009, when a Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern freight train went into the rail yard instead of staying on the main track, and hit 19 parked Burlington Northern Santa Fe cars.

The report found that the hand-operated switch had been “left incorrectly lined” from the main track onto the yard track by the BNSF crew.

Another factor causing the accident was the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern dispatcher authorized the DM&E train to use the track “without holding a job briefing

See the full report pdf
Collision of Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Freight Train and 19 Stationary Railcars
Bettendorf, Iowa July 14, 2009