MO State HS Sports

NTSB report cites grade crossing design in Missouri’s deadly 2022 Amtrak train collision

An Amtrak train with eight railcars and two locomotives derailed in northern Missouri’s Mendon on June 27, 2022. Three Amtrak passengers and a dump truck driver were killed (2022 aerial file photo courtesy of the NTSB website)

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says a grade crossing design contributed to last year’s horrific deadly collision between an Amtrak passenger train and a dump truck near northern Missouri’s Mendon.

The crash killed three train passengers and dump truck driver Billy Barton II. 146 passengers and crew were also injured.

The NTSB has released a detailed 16-page report, which says the steepness of the road grade at this crossing was 13 times the maximum slope recommended by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). That would make it difficult for a truck to accelerate through a crossing if it came to a complete stop as required by Missouri law. The NTSB’s report also says the angle of the crossing intersection was 30 degrees sharper than the lower limit of the range recommended by the AASHTO.

The NTSB notes the Mendon crossing where the deadly incident happened is now closed. The National Transportation Safety Board says the collision and derailment caused about $4-million in damage. Both locomotives and all eight railcars derailed.

The incident happened in the sprawling district of powerful U.S. House Transportation Committee chairman Rep. Sam Graves (R-Tarkio). The Tarkio Republican has told 939 the Eagle that more crossings will be marked quicker, due to this incident.