Train Derailment near DuPont Washington

For me railroads are the embodiment of the commerce that exploded during the industrial revolution which happened centuries ago.  Yet even today giant beasts still roar on iron tracks which never change and never grow as they rust and fall into disrepair.   It is hard not to love these creatures.  Is it any surprise when i heard of a  train wreck near me that i had to experience it first hand.  So we drove about 50 miles down I5 and tried to get close enough to snap some pictures.  Knowing that the roads into the area were closed, we hiked in about a mile down the railroad track.  Unfortunately the railroad dicks stopped us before we could get to the scene.   This was disappointing to say the least. 

i have annotated this google map with some pictures i took around the area, but the best ones in this item are from the media. 

Union Pacific officials explained what happened: "a southbound train apparently derailed about 3:15 Wednesday A.M. at a railroad switch and bumped a few cars off the tracks from a northbound train".

To me it looks like both trains were switched to the same track.

Perhaps the best video of the event was shown on King5 and you can watch it here.


Update: July 26, 2007  Thanks to a diligent employee of the Federal Railroad Administration we finally have the official report.  Both BNSF, who was responsible for the tracks, and Union Pacific whose trains "collided" reported to the FRA, here is a pdf of their reports.
source: email from FRA employee introducing the reports

Each railroad must make a report of on-track equipment and/or track that they had involved in the accident.  In this incident, two UP freight trains were operating on BNSF track.  Both railroads reported that the accident was human factor caused, but they disagreed on the specific cause.  UP recorded cause code H605 which is a failure to comply with restricted speed in connection with the restrictive indication of a block or interlocking signal.  BNSF reported the primary cause as H222 " automatic block or interlocking signal displaying other than a stop indication " failure to comply.  BNSF also reported the contributing cause code H221 " Automatic block or interlocking signal displaying a stop indication "failure to comply.

Although differences of opinion as to cause are acceptable, we attempt to get the railroads involved to agree upon a primary cause.


  1. trains
  2. washington
  3. events
  4. derailments
  5. placemark
  6. railroad
  7. 2007


Seth says
M 2007-05-16 11:53:35 7259
It might be nice to see how far you are away from the derailment.

It's about a 50 mile drive ... best coverage is to watch the KOMOTV video here.  If i go down there i'll probably try to get in from the StClair side since they shut down Nasquali Road exit off of I5 ... too bad i don't have a press pass.

Seth says
It will be interesting if a report of this accident shows up in the FRA database here.

Seth says
For the record, here is what the train wreck site looks like now ...

Seth says
source: my email

Seth Russell 
to safeteam

To Whom it may concern,

Could you please update your database of incidents viewable at
I have been trying to find out the cause of the accident at DuPont Washington on May 16th of 2007 but you havent updated your database since April.  A database which is so out of date as this one is almost useless.  Is this the best that our tax dollars can do?  Perhaps we should cut off funding of your projects and spend our tax dollars on more useful projects.

Seth Russell


Mark de LA says
Well, the explanation you quote in the body is certainly obscure enough!

Mark de LA says
Well, my question would go something like this:
In this day & age of GPS & jets , where aircraft operators can tell exactly where they are & know when they are about to collide, why can't 2 trains avoid collision on the same track (if that's what it was)?  There's a big DUH here !
to the railroad industry! This is egregious especially because the railroad industry is subsidized by the U.S. taxpayers. 

Seth says
M 2007-07-26 09:56:03 7259
Well, the explanation you quote in the body is certainly obscure enough!

Yes, definitely quite obscure enough.  I'm gonna attempt to get it clarified.  My theory is that the engineer would have been comming around the bend in the track (pictured below) and could not have seen the other SP train sitting on the track that his train was destined to be switched to.  According to the report he was going too fast and went past the red signal, probably the one shown in my picture here. Was the light actually showing red?  Why didn't he know in advance that the train was sitting there around the bend?  Any help with the wording of a specific question the the helpful FRA employee would be greatly appreciated. 

Seth says
M 2007-07-27 09:48:03 7259
Picture of the train locomotive doesn't look like a head-on collision. Were they both going backwards ?

Well based upon the two Narrative Descriptions in the report and on this picture from the M$M, I have drawn this diagram of the collision.  It looks to me to be a critical timing problem with the South bound engineer thinking that he didn't need to stop, even though the light was red, because he was hoping that the Nourth bound train had already cleared the crossover. 

bdfbd says
pinche tren cabeza de pija culero maricon pinche puto no puede manejar ni verga vale para pura mierda

Mark de LA says
bdfbd 2007-10-11 10:35:44 7259
pinche tren cabeza de pija culero maricon pinche puto no puede manejar ni verga vale para pura mierda

Literally translated is:
source: ...
kitchen boy train head of prick diaper queer kitchen boy male prostitute can handle not even rod costs for pure shit

louis vuitton says
will be happy to be proved wrong with this one.... but having done survival training during my Army days, I have to admit to a raised eyebrow with this as well.

trevor says
your train tracts sunk nut your moms nuts

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