Crescent City Derailment Summary Report

Derailment of Amtrak Auto Train P052-18 on
the CSXT Railroad Near Crescent City, Florida
April 18, 2002

NTSB Number RAR-03/02
NTIS Number PB2003-916302

To read, or save to disk, the NTSB official 82 page report in PDF format:

Executive Summary:
About 5:08 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 18, 2002, northbound National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) train P052-18, the Auto Train, derailed 21 of 40 cars on CSX Transportation (CSXT) track near Crescent City, Florida. The train derailed in a left-hand curve while traveling about 56 mph. The train was carrying 413 passengers and 33 Amtrak employees. The derailment resulted in 4 fatalities, 36 serious injuries, and 106 minor injuries. The equipment and track costs associated with the accident totaled about $8.3 million.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the April 18, 2002, derailment of Amtrak Auto Train P052-18 near Crescent City, Florida, was a heat-induced track buckle that developed because of inadequate CSX Transportation track-surfacing operations, including misalignment of the curve, insufficient track restraint, and failure to reestablish an appropriate neutral rail temperature.

The safety issues addressed in the report are:

Other items discussed in the report include:

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the Safety Board makes safety recommendations to CSXT, Amtrak, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Transportation Security Administration.