HiRail collision, Rockville, MD. Jan 2010

Hi-RailJanuary 2010: Poor Communication Contributed
to Fatalities Caused by a Hi-Rail Vehicle 2 Fatalities

On January 26, 2010 at about 1:40 am, while moving in reverse down the track at approximately 13 mph, a hi-rail vehicle struck and fatally injured two train control technicians while they were working on the right-of-way. The accident occurred 1 mile north of the Rockville Metro Station in the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. According to an NTSB investigation, the accident resulted from poor communication about ongoing rail work and ineffective lookout for hazards, both, by the hi-rail operator and train control technicians. Attention plays a key role in the ability to monitor surroundings for potential hazards.


National Transportation Safety Board (2010).Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Hi-Rail Maintenance Vehicle Strikes Two Wayside Workers Near the Rockville Station Rockville, Maryland, January 26, 2010. Railroad Accident Report NTSB/RAR-12/04/SUM. Washington, DC, p. 4. (NTSB, 2010)

Photo source:

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB, 2010)