Fatal Union Pacific Railroad Accident Details Revealed

Last June, two Union Pacific trains collided in the Oklahoma Panhandle, killing three of the four railroad workers aboard the two locomotives.  That left three families asking questions and searching for answers.  Last week, some answers about the fatal train wreck were finally discovered. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the Union Pacific train heading eastbound missed three signals telling it to slow down or stop.   It was also determined that both trains passed safety inspections the day before and that the railway signals were working correctly afterward. While we understand railroad conductors are human and mistakes happen, this is unacceptable.  One missed signal is bad.  Three missed signals is inexcusable.  However, what really bothers us is Union Pacific’s stance towards employees that miss or ignore warning signs. In the hearing that led to the NTSB’s announcement last week, Robert Grimaila, Union Pacific’s vice president of safety, stated that employees can be suspended or face other consequences for ignoring or missing warning signals.   Maybe it is just us, but that policy does not seem tough enough.  It is also far too vague.   If we had our way, a railroad conductor that misses any warning signal would never be in a position to operate a train again. Railroad work injuries are just too devastating to give that conductor a second chance.