View Full Version : DME wreck Bettendorf, IA

07-14-2009, 11:39 PM
It looks like DME has experienced a nasty, and unfortunately, fatal wreck at Bettendorf, IA around 0200 this morning (7/14/09). GP40s DME 4001 (confirmed as 2nd unit) and 4000 (unconfirmed as lead unit) on local 914 plowed into a cut of parked cars at the BNSF interchange in Bettendorf, apparently through an open switch. Anything further would be speculation at this point, so we'll skip that, but the engineer and conductor have been confirmed as fatalities. Sad day on the DME.

Mike Derrick

07-15-2009, 03:26 PM
A bit more information on the story:


Carl Becker
07-16-2009, 10:58 PM
Services for the two crewmembers:



07-17-2009, 01:44 AM
If anyone is interested, Yardlimits.com takes donations for families of fallen railroaders.

07-20-2009, 02:40 AM
Updating the locos involved, it was DME 4003 leading DME 4001. 4003 was the one essentially leveled to the frame in the photos on Railpictures.net. I have seen no other updates other than a BNSF crew was working the interchange at the time of the accident. The switch was open, but who had the authority to occupy that area was never mentioned, and likely won't be during an open investigation. Regardless, sad to lose two young men.

07-20-2009, 03:24 AM
DME 4001 is sitting in the Nahant Yard Roundhouse right now. It is still rapped in caution tape and doesn't look too bad, but the frame is pretty bent.

DME 6361
07-29-2009, 04:40 AM
[QUOTE=ShortlinesUSA;95281]Updating the locos involved, it was 4003

10-02-2009, 06:41 PM
NTSB has just released a statement of fact on this collision, and it is not good.

In its continuing investigation of a freight train accident in July in Iowa, killing two, the NTSB has developed the following factual information:

At approximately 2:08 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, July 14, 2009, a southbound Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (DME) train consisting of two locomotives and 83 freight cars collided with railcars that had been placed on a track on the west side of the Bettendorf rail yard (located in the city of Bettendorf, Iowa) by a BNSF train crew. Both of the crewmembers on the DME train, an engineer and a conductor, were fatally injured in the collision. None of the BNSF crewmembers were injured in the accident.

The northbound BNSF freight train from Barstow, Ill., had arrived at the Bettendorf Yard about 12:15 a.m. to deliver 55 freight cars. After placing 18 freight cars on track 2 and 19 freight cars on track 3 in the west side of Bettendorf Yard, the BNSF train crew pulled back onto the main track and moved their locomotives and 18 remaining freight cars into a siding on the east side of the main track. The BNSF train crew left both the switch from the main track to the west side of the yard, and the switch to the siding track on the east side of the yard, in the open position (aligned away from the main track).

The BNSF train crew then released its track authority to the DME train dispatcher by radio. Following that, the dispatcher gave the authority (by radio) to the DME train to use the main track to travel from Bettendorf to Nahant, Iowa.

The southbound DME train, which had been stopped outside the Bettendorf Yard, then moved forward on the main track at the track speed limit of 25 mph. The switch from the main track to the east siding was realigned by remote signal activation by the DME train crew in order for the DME train to pass through on the main track. The switch from the main track to the west Bettendorf Yard was a manual switch only, however, and it remained open to the west side yard tracks.

The open switch from the main track into the west side yard diverted the southbound DME train to where it struck the rail cars that were on track 3 in Bettendorf Yard.

The parties to the investigation, which is ongoing, are the Federal Railroad Administration, BNSF, DME, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the United Transportation Union.

10-06-2009, 12:03 AM
WOW! That made for some interesting reading.

To me BNSF have some explaining to do, especially the Brakeman and or Conductor

DME 6361
12-23-2009, 12:41 AM
You wonder why we have to carry around 50 LB grips today just on rules. It's cause we have to work with TOO many idiots out there that should have never had a railroad job in the first place!

12-28-2009, 01:56 AM
Update: DME 4001 has been repainted in DME blue and is back in service.

12-29-2009, 06:05 AM
Good to read 4001 is back in Blue and not CPR Red.