Trainman dead in CSX switching accident; Remote control was in use

A CSX trainman died on February 16 when he was struck by a moving boxcar in a switching accident in the Manlius freight yard near Syracuse, N.Y. The cars were being switched by remote control at the time of the fatality.

An autopsy performed on John W. Sneddon, 36, the next day showed he died from a blunt force injury to his torso caused by the blow from the boxcar.

Sneddon was a trainman. His partner was a conductor. The conductor was operating the locomotive by remote control, using it to push incoming cars along the tracks to build new trains.

A CSX spokesman said Sneddon's partner realized something was wrong after he received no reply when he called for Sneddon on the radio. He went to look for Sneddon and found him along some tracks.

Longtime employees said they could not remember when there had been another fatality in the Manlius yard. Sneddon was a member of the United Transportation Union.


© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers