INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION
GULF, COLORADO AND SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY REPORT IN RE ACCIDENT AT
BOBVILLE, TEXAS, ON OCTOBER 24, 1942
Gulf, Colorado and. Santa Fe
October 24, 1942
of accident: Head-end collision
Freight Train numbers: 239: Extra 3024 North
Engine numbers: 1906-1609:
Consist: 40 cars, caboose:
52 cars, caboose
8 m.p.h.: Standing
Timetable and. train orders; accident occurred
Single; 2 degrees curve; vertical curve
Time: About 12:05 a.m.
Cause: Accident caused by failure
properly to control speed of No.239 within yard limits
THE MATTER OF MAKING ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION REPORTS UNDER THE ACCIDENT
REPORTS ACT OF MAY 6, 1910.
THE GULF, COLORADO AND SANTA
FE RAILWAY COMPANY
at Bobville, Texas, on October 24, 1942, caused by failure properly to
control speed of No. 239 within yardlimits.
OF THE COMMISSION
October 24, 1942, there was a head-end collision between two freight
trains on the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway at Bobville, Texas,
which resulted in the death of two employees.
No. 2640 Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway Bobville, Texas October 24,
of Accident and Method of Operation
accident occurred on that part of the Gulf Division designated as the
Somerville District and extending between Somerville and Conroe, Texas, a
distance of 72.3 miles. In the vicinity of the point of accident this is a
single-track line over which trains are operated by timetable and train
orders. There is no block system in use. The accident occurred within yard
limits on the main track at a point 2,888 feet north of the station at
Bobville and 5,235 feet south of the north yard-limit sign. A siding
3,358.5 feet in length parallels the main track on the west. The accident
occurred at a point 45 feet north of the north siding-switch. Approaching
from the north there is a tangent 1.07 miles in length, which is followed
by a 2 degrees curve to the left 869.8 feet to the point of accident and
32.7 feet beyond.
from the south there is a tangent 3,760.6 feet in length, which is
followed by the curve on which the accident occurred. The grade for
south-bound trains is 0.91 percent descending 1,700 feet, then there are,
in succession, a vertical curve 1,700 feet, a 1.26 percent ascending grade
500 feet and a vertical curve 273 feet to the point of accident and 127
rules read in part as follows:
Speed.--Proceed prepared to stop short of train, obstruction, or anything
that may require the speed of a train to be reduced.
Stations having yard limits will be designated by special
rule in time-table.
yard limits all trains and engines may use the main track, not protecting
against second or third class trains or extra trains, but will give way as
soon as possible upon their approach. All except first class trains will
move within yard limits at restricted speed; the responsibility for
accident with respect to second or third class or extra trains rests with
the approaching train.
When more than one engine is used in a train, brakes must be
operated from the leading engine, automatic brake valves on all except the
engine from which brakes are operated. must be cut out, * * *.
special rules and regulations provide as follows:
The following stations have yard limits (see General
No. 93): * * *
(Yard limits extends from yard limit board South of Dobbin to yard limit
board north of Bobville), * * *.
maximum authorized speed for freight trains is 30 miles
239, a south-bound second-class freight train, consisted at the time of
the accident of engines 1906 and 1609, coupled, 16 loaded and 3 empty
freight cars, 21 deadhead passenger-equipment cars and a caboose. At
Navasota, 20.7 miles north of Bobville and the last open office, the crew
received a clearance card and copies of two train orders, of which one was
train order No. 139 reading in part as follows: No 239 engs 1906 and 1609
coupled wait at Bobville until twelve fifteen 1215 am * * * for Extra 3024
North No. 239 departed from Navasota at 11 p.m., October 23,
according to the dispatcher's record of movement of trains, 3
hours late, passed the north yard-limit sign at Bobville and
while moving at an estimated speed of 8 miles per hour it collided with
Extra 3024 North at a point 5,235 feet south of the north yard-limit sign.
The brakes of No. 239 had *** tested previously and
they functioned properly at all points where
used en route.
3024 North, a north-bound freight train, consisted at the time of the
accident of engine 3024, 45 loaded and 7 empty cars and a caboose. At
Conroe, 23.3 miles south of Bobville, the crew received a clearance card
and copies of two train orders, of which one was train order No. 139,
previously quoted. Extra 3024 departed from Conroe at 10:55 p.m., October
23, according to the dispatcher's record. of movement of trains, passed
Dobbin, 1 mile south of Bobville and the
last open office, at 11:52
p.m., entered the siding at Bobville, and stopped with the front end of
the engine on the main track 45 feet north of the north siding-switch.
Soon afterward it was struck by No. 239.
of vegetation on the east side of the track and track curvature, the view
from the left side of a south-bound engine of an engine standing at the
point where the accident occurred is restricted to a distance of about 740
engines of both trains remained upright at the point of impact. The engine
truck, the pilot and pilot-beam of engine 1906, the first engine of No.
239, were detached and driven under the axle of the first pair of driving
wheels. The tender of engine 1906 stopped against the boiler head. The
front coupler of engine 1609, the second engine of No. 239, and. the
couplers between the first and second cars were damaged. The rear truck of
the eleventh car was derailed to the west and the car was slightly
damaged. The twelfth oar buckled and stopped, badly damaged, across the
track. The thirteenth car was derailed and destroyed. The fourteenth car
was derailed and considerably damaged. The engine truck and the Nos. 1 and
2 pairs of driving wheels of engine 3024, of Extra 3024 North, were
derailed and the front end was considerably damaged. It was partly cloudy
at the time of the accident, which occurred about 12:05 a.m. The employees
killed were the engineer and the fireman of the first engine of No. 239.
rules governing operation on the line involved provide that within yard
limits trains and engines may use the main track without protecting
against second-class, inferior-class and extra trains. All except
first-class trains must be operated prepared to stop short of train,
obstruction or anything that may require the speed of a train to be
reduced. The surviving employees understood these requirements.
No. 239 was approaching the north yard-limit sign at Bobville, the speed
was 18 or 20 miles per hour. The train air-brake system was in the charge
of the engineer of the first engine. When the engines reached a point
about 600 feet north of the north siding-switch, the fireman of the second
engine observed that the engine of Extra 3024 North was standing on the
main track in the vicinity of the switch, and he called a warning to his
engineer. The engineer of the second engine attempted to open the
double-heading cock of his engine to enable him to make a brake
application but the brakes were applied before he completed his action.
the speed of No. 239 was about 8 miles per hour at the time of the
collision. The engineer and the fireman of the first engine of No. 239
were killed in the accident.
Extra 3024 North was approaching the point where the accident occurred,
the speed was about 4 miles per hour. The front brakeman, who was in the
vicinity of the north siding-switch, saw No. 239 approaching and gave stop
signals. The engineer of Extra 3024 stopped his train by an application of
the engine and tender brakes just before the collision
Under the rules the speed of each train was
required to be so controlled that each could be stopped short of a train,
obstruction or switch not properly lined.
Since Extra 3024
stopped before the collision occurred, this train was being operated. in
accordance with the yard-limit rule. If the speed of No. 239 had been
controlled in accordance with the yard-limit rule, this accident would not
It is found that this accident was caused by failure properly to control
the speed of No. 239 moving within yard limits.
at Washington, D. C., this eleventh day of December, 1942. By the
Commission, Commissioner Patterson.
Under authority of section 17 (2) of the Interstate
CommerceAct the above-entitled proceeding was referred by the Commission
to Commissioner Patterson for consideration and