Texting and Driving: The 2008 Chatsworth Train Collision


The location of Chatsworth in the southwestern Corner of North America.
The site of the accident seen from above, the Metrolink train came from the bottom right corner of the image.

The trains involved

Union Pacific №8485, the locomotive leading the freight train, photographed in Echo (Utah) in 2006.
A Mark 1 Bombardier Bilevel passenger car identical to those involved in the accident.
A Metrolink-owned F59PH pulling a train near-identical to the one involved in the accident (4 instead of 3 cars) in San Dimas (California) in 2008.

The accident

A graphic from the report showing the stations surrounding the site of the accident.
A sketch from the report showing the infrastructure around the crash site, “CP Topanga” is the red signal the MetroLink train ran.
A re-enactment of the moment the MetroLink train came into view, published in the report.


The wreckage a few hours after the collision, photographed from a helicopter.
Firefighters scale the wreckage of the leading passenger car, looking for victims.
KCAL showing one of the messages allegedly sent by Sanchez. Note the time-stamp of 4:22pm.
The destroyed Metrolink locomotive once it had been recovered from the wreckage.
The diesel fuel burning at the site shortly after the collision.
The remains of the freight train’s locomotives (left, center) photographed in Colton (California) in November 2011. The rear skeleton belongs to the locomotive from a different accident.
Paul Miller, Simi Valley’s Mayor at the time, pausing at the Metrolink Memorial Plaza in 2009.

History repeats itself



Train crash reports and analysis, published weekly.

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