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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation


Document Series
Accident Investigations
Office of Railroad Safety
Accident Date
Accident Type
Derailment (DRM)
Railroad Name
BNSF Railway

Ludlow, CA
United States

Accident Number
Investigation Status
Subject Accident Investigations
BNSF Railway, BNSF, derailment, hazmat, train make-up

On March 2, 2021, at approximately 1220 p.m. PST, a BNSF Railway train (H-KCKBAR1-28A) derailed 45 cars approximately one mile east of Ludlow, California on BNSF’s Needles Subdivision. One tank car containing ethyl alcohol sustained significant damage, rupturing the tank and releasing its contents to the ground.

The temperature was approximately 78° F and sunny, there was hazmat involved in the accident, this was not PTC preventable, and there were no injuries.

FRA determined that train make-up was the probable cause of the accident (cause code H504- buffing or slack action excessive, train makeup). There were no other contributing factors.

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Last updated: Wednesday, March 3, 2021