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(Source: National Transportation Safety Board, May 8, 2024)

On April 15, 2024, about 1:20 p.m. local time, northbound CSX Transportation (CSX) intermodal train I03215 collided head on with stationary, loaded rock train CSX L74314 on the Jesup Subdivision Main Track 2 at milepost 602.2 in Folkston, Georgia.[1] Train I03215 was traveling on the Nahunta Subdivision Main Track 1 en route to Florence, South Carolina, when it was inadvertently diverted onto the Jesup Subdivision Main Track 2 and collided head on with train L74314.[2]  (See figure.) A total of five locomotives were damaged, and two of the five locomotives derailed. A total of three railcars derailed, none of which were carrying hazardous materials. Two crewmembers of train I03215 and one crewmember of train L74314 were sent to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. At the time of this report, CSX estimated damages at $720,000. Visibility conditions at the time of the collision were clear and unobstructed. The weather was 82°F with no precipitation.

​Train I03215 had 2 locomotives and 27 railcars; train L74314 had 3 locomotives and 83 railcars. Each train had a two-person crew: an engineer and a conductor.

Before the collision, the accident location was placed under a signal suspension for maintenance and upgrades, and track warrant authority was under observation.[3]  During the signal suspension, CSX assigned a conductor to serve as a switch tender to hand throw switches controlling the alignments for train movements between tracks.[4] The switch tender was responsible for a total of four dual-control power switches that were placed in hand throw for the signal outage.[5] Train I03215 was traveling northbound at about 38 mph on the Nahunta Subdivision Main Track 1 when it approached the stretch of track under signal suspension. The switch for the Nahunta Subdivision Main Track 1 onto Jesup Subdivision Main Track 2 was improperly aligned causing intermodal train I03215, as it operated through the switch, to deviate onto Jesup Subdivision Main Track 2, at which point it collided head on with stationary rock train L74314 at a speed of 28 mph. ​

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