Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (NICTD)

Midwest Steel Crossing

This is the site of the June 18, 1998 fatal accident.

The first train of the day, Train 102 from Michigan City to Chicago, collided with a steel roll trailer left parked over the South Shore line while the driver waited for a passing train on the parallel Conrail line at Midwest Steel's main entrance. The NTSB estimated that the engineer had less than 6 seconds to react. Three passengers, including an off-duty South Shore employee, were crushed as the steel roll pushed through the first car, nearly reaching the center. Five others were injured of the 19 on the train that morning.

Train 102 was led by car 11 which was destroyed. The tarp on the front covers the entry point for the steel roll - the second tarp covers the hole needed to remove the steel roll from the car. This car was rebuilt in 2001.

As in interim measure, large signs were added to the already noticeable "High Speed Trains - Do not block track" signs. The Federal Railroad Administration reduced rail speeds from 65mph to 40mph within 1.5mi of the crossings and banned trucks over 55ft long from crossing the rails. An overpass bridge was built and Midwest's grade crossings were closed.

NTSB Report (1.16m PDF)

South Shore Railfan Home Home