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KCS SD60 714flagKansas City MO Kansas City

KCS 714 sits at Knoche Yard after the wreck with a GWWR train.

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©  Apr 4, 1992


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KCS 714 sits at Knoche Yard after the wreck with a GWWR train.



storyOn March 18, 1992, an eastbound Gateway Western left ATSF Argentine Yard with a general freight heading for Illinois. Before leaving the yard, the crew picked up a loaded autorack car full of Mercedes Benz vehicles, placing it at the head end of the train. It was the first such shipment made by Mercedes on the Gateway. As the train left the yard and proceeded to cross the city on the KC Terminal, nothing but green signals were encountered and when the train surmounted the hill east of Union Station, a routine brake application revealed that little braking power was available. Several miles later, the GWWR train, unable to stop for a red signal, went through a crossing in front of this KCS SD60, which had a green signal at Big Blue River Crossing within Armco Steel. KCS 714 hit the third GWWR unit and was turned over onto its left side. The Gateway units received varying amounts of damage, and the autorack full of Mercedes cars was a total loss. Most, if not all, of the crew on both trains jumped off prior to the collision and received minor injuries. This photog was not privy to the findings of the investigation, but it was thought by many that when the crew picked up the rack full of Mercedes autos, an air brake line angle cock on the trailing freight cars was not reopened, thus eliminating the majority of the train's braking power except for the locomotives and first car. The speed of the Gateway train at the wreck site was estimated at about 40 MPH, and the KCS coal train about 10-15 MPH.
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