List of BNSF Railway accidents and incidents

BNSF Railway is one of the largest railroad companies in North America. A number of accidents and incidents have occurred on the railway since its inception in 1996 .



  • April 23, 2002 – A BNSF Railway freight train collides head-on with a Metrolink train in Placentia, California, near the Atwood Junction, at the intersection of Orangethorpe Avenue and Van Buren Street. Two people died in the crash and twenty-two were seriously injured.[1][2]


  • May 19, 2004 – Gunter Train Collision – Two BNSF freight trains collide head-on near Gunter, Texas. The train engineer of the southbound train was killed. [3]
  • June 28, 2004 – A westbound Union Pacific Railroad freight train collides with the middle of an eastbound BNSF freight that was entering a siding at Macdona, Texas. Several cars on both trains and the four UP locomotives were derailed; one of the derailed tank cars was punctured, releasing liquefied chlorine which vaporized into a cloud. Three people died from chlorine inhalation.[4]



  • June 14, 2006 -The Kismet Train Collision - Two BNSF Railway freight trains collide head-on in Madera, California, due to one of the trains running a red signal, injuring 5 people. One of the train's crew members, the one that ran the red, is suspected to be high on cocaine. There was a camera on board one of the locomotives involved in the collision; the video of the collision is widely available on YouTube and related sites. During the footage, the southbound train's engineer was seen jumping clear of the locomotive immediately before the collision.[6][7]
  • October 9, 2006 - The Cactus Train Collision - A BNSF coal train entered an open switch on a spur track and collided with a stationary train. Both crewmen received minor injuries. Like the Kismet collision, it too was captured on video. [8]





  • March 23, 2011 – A Chevrolet Suburban operated by Coach America under contract to provide crew transportation for BNSF is struck by a freight train at a private level crossing within the Longview Junction yard at Kelso, Washington. Three of the four people in the Suburban were killed.[16]
  • April 17, 2011 – BNSF EMD SD70ACe 9159 and GE ES44AC 6133 collides with standing maintenance of way equipment near Red Oak, Iowa, derailing two locomotives and 12 cars and killing both crewmembers aboard the coal train.[17] 9159 and 6133 were repaired, 9159 now known as 8749, due to a request by the family of one of the victims.
  • August 15, 2011 – A BNSF crewman is killed during a coupling operation in Argentine Yard in Kansas City, Kansas.[18]


  • January 9, 2012 – A Loram railgrinder operating in a yard near Amarillo, Texas, strikes and kills a BNSF welding foreman. The Loram crew interpreted a hand signal that the foreman gave as indicating a reverse move; the foreman stepped onto the track, crouched and turned his back to the train to open a derail as the railgrinder began moving toward him.[19]
  • January 17, 2012 – A BNSF freight train collides with a tractor trailer in northeast Montana, causing ten rail cars to derail, including four locomotives and blocking the traffic on the rail line.[20]
  • July 21, 2012 – A Kansas City Southern freight train collides with a BNSF coal train and derails in Barton County, Missouri, injuring two railway workers.[21]
  • December 17, 2012 – A BNSF intermodal train from Chicago derails when a landslide strikes it in Everett, Washington. This event is captured on video.[22][23]


  • May 25, 2013 – BNSF and Union Pacific Railroad freight trains collide at Rockview interlocking near Chaffee, Missouri. The BNSF train was proceeding through the crossing when the UP train struck the 12th car behind the BNSF locomotives, derailing 13 cars of the BNSF train and two locomotives and 11 cars of the UP train. Some of the derailed cars struck the supports for Missouri State Highway N which crossed via a bridge above the interlocking, causing a partial collapse of the bridge.[24]
  • September 25, 2013 – A BNSF freight train collides with the rear of another standing BNSF train in Amarillo, Texas, derailing about 30 cars of the standing train. A third train traveling on the parallel main track collides with the wreckage. Four BNSF crewmen were injured and treated at local hospitals; no fatalities were reported.[25]
  • December 30, 2013 – A southbound Union Pacific Railroad freight train collides with a BNSF train near Keithville, Louisiana, derailing three locomotives and one car on the UP train and two locomotives and 11 cars on the BNSF train.[26]
  • December 30, 2013 – A westbound BNSF grain train derails near Casselton, North Dakota. The 45th car in the train derails such that it blocks the parallel second main track, into which an eastbound BNSF oil train collides. Dash 9-44CW 4934 strikes the car and almost 500,000 gallons of crude oil are released from the oil train; the oil catches fire, forcing the evacuation of 1,400 nearby residents.[27][28]


  • January 13, 2014 – A BNSF train derails near Kent, Washington, after a landslide. The landslide also disrupted Amtrak and Sound Transit passenger rail service.[29]
  • January 17, 2014 – A BNSF train hauling fruits, vegetables and empty intermodal cars derails near Williston, North Dakota. The derailment also disrupted Amtrak passenger rail service between Minot, North Dakota, and Havre, Montana. No injuries were reported.[30]
  • January 22, 2014 – A BNSF train transporting 18 empty intermodal rail cars derails inside the Lindenwood Yard in St. Louis, Missouri. No injuries were reported and the derailment was cleared the same day.[31]
  • January 23, 2014 – A BNSF train carrying corn derails near Ross, North Dakota. The derailment of eleven cars disrupted transportation of crude oil from the Bakken oil formation to ports in Montana. No injuries were reported.[32]


  • March 5, 2015 – A BNSF oil train derails in a rural area near Galena, Illinois. Twenty-one of the 105 cars, containing Bakken formation crude oil, leave the track and catch fire, which continues to burn for days. No injuries are reported.[33]


  • March 2, 2005 – Citing disputes in paid leave policies, around 200 BNSF Railway dispatchers walk off the job for nearly three hours, causing traffic delays over the entire system from Chicago to the Pacific coast.[35]
  • August 31, 2005 – After Hurricane Katrina, BNSF Railway announces that it expects to restore limited freight service to southern Louisiana by the end of the day on September 1. Other than debris on the mainline, the biggest problem facing crews working to reopen the line is the damage to the Bayou Boeuf bridge in Morgan City; the bridge and bridge piers were struck by a barge propelled by the storm's winds and wave action. BNSF sent crews to repair damaged railway signal systems starting on August 30. Until the southern connections are rebuilt and restored to service, BNSF is transferring freight through other hubs such as St. Louis, Missouri, Chicago, Illinois, and Memphis, Tennessee.[36]
  • February 4, 2006 – BNSF Railway temporarily shuts down passenger train operations between Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, due to dangerous conditions caused by high winds in the area. The winds blew debris and knocked down power lines, cutting electricity to about 160,000 homes and businesses. BNSF's shutdown began shortly before 1:25 PM Pacific Standard Time and was scheduled to end after 48 hours, affecting Amtrak and Sound Transit trains during the period; freight traffic in the area was not suspended.[37]


  1. ^ "Metrolink/BNSF Collision". TrainWeb. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  2. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (October 7, 2003). "Collision of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Freight Train With Metrolink Passenger Train". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  3. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (June 13, 2006). "Collision Between Two BNSF Railway Company Freight Trains". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  4. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (July 6, 2006). "Collision of Union Pacific Railroad Train MHOTU-23 With BNSF Railway Company Train MEAP-TUL-126-D With Subsequent Derailment and Hazardous Materials Release". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  5. ^ "Collision ties up UP-BNSF diamonds at Rochelle, Ill". Trains News Wire. March 14, 2005. Retrieved March 15, 2005.[dead link]
  6. ^ Head on Train Crash Footage (video shot from onboard). YouTube. May 30, 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2021.
  7. ^ Eberly, Tim; McCarthy, Charles (June 15, 2006). "Madera Train Wreck Injures 5: Railroad Crew Workers Jump From Locomotives; Cause of Crash Not Revealed". The Fresno Bee. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  8. ^ bnsf 5942 train crash. YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-08.
  9. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (December 5, 2008). "BNSF Railway Company Remote Control Locomotive Switching Operation Fatality". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  10. ^ "Derailment Spills Acid, Residents Flee". Associated Press. October 29, 2007. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  11. ^ "Collision with truck derails train north of Marysville". 18 March 2008.
  12. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (April 13, 2011). "Collision of Metrolink Passenger Train and BNSF Freight Train". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  13. ^ "Train derails along 287 11/23/08". Amarillo Globe-News. November 23, 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-08-04. Retrieved January 15, 2009.
  14. ^ Lemmon, Dustin (December 1, 2010). "Driver sues BNSF Railiway for 2008 train accident". Quad-City Times. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  15. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (March 31, 2012). "Derailment of BNSF Freight Train with Employee Fatality". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  16. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (March 29, 2012). "Railroad grade crossing accident between a Chevrolet Suburban and a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) freight train". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  17. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (April 24, 2012). "Collision of BNSF Coal Train With the Rear End of Standing BNSF Maintenance-of-Way Equipment Train". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  18. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (June 25, 2014). "Employee Fatality, BNSF Argentine Yard". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  19. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (August 30, 2013). "BNSF Railway Employee Struck by Moving Railroad Equipment". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  20. ^ "Freight train hits semi on Montana Hi-Line". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. January 17, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  21. ^ Sam Hartle (July 21, 2012). "Two hurt in Missouri train derailment". KSHB-TV. Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  22. ^ "Mudslide derails freight cars, disrupting rail traffic". The Herald, Everett.
  23. ^ "Mudslide derails BNSF train near Everett". KOMO News.
  24. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (November 17, 2014). "Collision of Union Pacific Railroad Freight Train with BNSF Railway Freight Train". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  25. ^ "BNSF and NTSB open investigation into 3-train crash in Amarillo". NewsChannel 10. September 26, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  26. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (December 1, 2014). "Collision of BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Trains Near Keithville, Louisiana". Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  27. ^ Shaffer, David; Ramstad, Evan (January 23, 2014). "NTSB: 400,000 gallons of crude spilled in N.D. train wreck". Star Tribune. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  28. ^ National Transportation Safety Board (April 7, 2014). "Safety Recommendation Letter R-14-010" (PDF). Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  29. ^ "Mudslides, derailment disrupt train service". KIRO-TV. January 13, 2014.
  30. ^ "Train derailment impacts Amtrak passengers' trip". Minot Daily News. January 17, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2015-06-05.
  31. ^ "18 empty train cars derail in St. Louis train yard". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. January 22, 2014.
  32. ^ "BNSF Train Derailment Threatens to Delay Bakken Oil Deliveries". Bloomberg News. January 24, 2014.
  33. ^ "Illinois oil train derailment involved safer tank cars". Yahoo! News. March 6, 2015. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  34. ^ "Crew leapt from train moments before deadly impact". KOAT. April 28, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  35. ^ "Dispatcher walkout snarls BNSF". Trains NewsWire. March 3, 2005. Retrieved March 10, 2005.[permanent dead link]
  36. ^ BNSF Railway (August 31, 2005). "BNSF Today: Hurricane-Damaged Line Expected to Open Thursday". Archived from the original on November 29, 2005. Retrieved September 1, 2005.
  37. ^ "High winds wreak havoc in Western Washington; Passenger rail service shut down". Altamont Press. February 6, 2006. Retrieved February 6, 2006.[permanent dead link]