(Chester Township, Pennsylvania October 28, 2016)
A pair of CSX trains on the same track and traveling in opposite directions collided, injuring all four crew members, at an interlocking plant south of Philadelphia, PA in Chester Township at about 8:30 A.M., EDT Friday morning. The collision disrupted the community and giving residents an unwanted pre-Halloween scare.
Two of the crew members, none of whom CSX would identify due to “respect for their employees and families”, were treated at the scene while the other two were transported to a local hospital where they were treated and released. One train was headed from Richmond, VA to Pavonia, NJ, while the other was bound for Atlanta, GA when one train crew obviously ran a red signal at the interlocker, a point where two or more railroad tracks come together. One of the trains consisted of three locomotives hauling 64 empty freight cars, while the other had a single locomotive powering eight intermodal flat cars consisting of three to five platforms each and the containers they were carrying loaded with consumer and food products.
Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration were conducting independent investigations into the crash. Almost undoubtedly this crash would have been prevented had CSX and the railroad industry been compliant with installing and activating the Positive Train Control, satellite-based override system which halts trains short of collision with one another. By Friday evening, U.S. House of Representatives member Bob Brady of Philadelphia was asking the USDOT for an immediate investigation into why the technology, dictated by Congress, was not in place and operational.
“We really got lucky with this,” said Chester Township Police Chief Kenneth Coalson about the collision. “There were no hazardous materials on those trains,” he reported.