McLean Collision Summary Report

Collision Of Amtrak Train 304-26 With A Highway
Vehicle At A Highway-Rail Grade Crossing McLean, Illinois
September 26, 1999

NTSB Number: RAR-01-03
NTIS Number: PB2001-916303
Adopted: September 18, 2001

To read, or save to disk, the NTSB official 46 page report in PDF format:

Executive Summary:

On September 26, 1999, about 5:08 p.m. (central daylight time), northbound National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) train 304-26, which was en route from St. Louis, Missouri, to Chicago, Illinois, collided with an automobile, which was westbound on U.S. Route 136. The collision occurred where the Union Pacific Railroad's St. Louis Division main line and U.S. Route 136 cross near McLean, Illinois. The automobile driver and passenger were killed as a result of the collision. Amtrak train 304-26 did not derail, and no injuries to the train crewmembers or passengers were reported. Neither the flashing lights nor the gates for the grade crossing activated to warn the automobile driver of the approaching train. A Union Pacific Railroad signal maintainer had worked on the grade crossing warning devices earlier that day; he had finished his work and left the McLean grade crossing area about 4:30 p.m.

Probable Cause:

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the signal maintainer to remove a jumper wire from the grade crossing control relay and, as required by the Union Pacific Railroad's written procedures, to verify the operational status of the grade crossing equipment after he had completed the maintenance work.

The Safety Board's investigation examined the following safety issues:


As a result of its investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board makes the following safety recommendations:

To the Federal Railroad Administration

To the Union Pacific Railroad

To the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen