NTSB: Train in crash going faster than it should

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WINSLOW, Ark. (AP) — A train that collided with a stalled passenger train in Arkansas was coming to its aid and was apparently going too fast, a National Transportation Safety Board member said Friday.

The passenger train was carrying tourists on a fall-foliage tour in the Ozark Mountains when the accident occurred near Winslow, about 175 miles northwest of Little Rock. Five people were critically hurt, including a conductor.

A train coming to help a stalled Arkansas & Missouri Railroad train crashed into it, Mark Rosekind with the NTSB said in a telephone interview Friday. He said the train should have been moving at no more than 20 miles per hour, but appears to have been traveling 25 miles per hour. Rosekind said the estimation is preliminary and based on information from recorders on the assist train.

He said the preliminary investigation found brakes were applied before the collision, and estimated the train had been going at about 28 miles per hour.

Rosekind said the conductor of the passenger train reported that it had stalled before on the trip and that an oily substance from autumn leaves is a possible cause of the earlier stalls.

The crew of the assist train had not yet been interviewed.