Top 5 Causes Of Train Derailment

In this article, the main objective is to discuss the five causes of train derailment. Train accidents are terrifying and have become a major cause of concern for people. It may occur due to broken rails and welds that are above track geometry and bearing, the other causes of train accidents. These train accidents are known as derailments that can lead to injury or even death.

What is Train Derailment?

The action of a train or tram leaving its tracks accidentally. A train derailment takes place when there is a mechanical failure and human error or both. In the United States, it usually occurs after a couple of hours when a train is loaded with hazardous materials. It plays an important role in the supply chain of raw materials, the leading cause of train crashes.

It is important to critically analyze the causes of train derailment to prevent train accidents as a safe, efficient, reliable, and affordable railway track provides an appropriate conditions.

Train accidents are not viewed as a major threat because they are quite different from common road accidents. The following are the major causes of the train derailment.

  1. Improper control system
  2. Mechanical failure
  3. Human errors
  4. Defective Rails
  5. Harsh Train Handling

Improper Control System

Most of the accidents occur due to the negligence of intelligent techniques and improper control of signals from TTCS( train traffic control system) that transmits control signals to stop or move the trains. 

Outdated technology that is still used for controls such as junctions on railways is made of switches and other controlling points that are controlled by irresponsible staff who forget to change the position of points. As a result, the train might derail or a collision occurs between trains and detrains

Mechanical Failure

Another cause of train accidents is defects in the machinery of trains that contain complex and moving parts. These parts work together in a sequence using electrical power. If one of the mechanical parts of the train defects, the entire train can cause a deadly accident.

Mechanical failure plays a greater role in train derailments, above 10% of the total number of train accidents occur due to this default.

Human Errors

Human error is the most common cause of train derailment that occurs due to the negligence of the people. It is including passengers, the conductor, the driver, the engineers, and some other persons related to the railway stations.

The errors that occur as the result of ignorance of people including speed, violation of switching, incorrect track switches, drivers’ physical condition, obstruction, etc, cause train derailment.

Defective Tracks

Obstruction is one of the top causes of train derailment that often leads to rail breaks. How common are train derailments? Railway track defects occur as a result of abrasion, deformation, surface tracks, head checks, spalling, and shelling.

How to prevent train derailment.

The track is responsible for the trackside vibration & other railway tracks that might disturb, due to the problems faced by the tracks.

Unprotected Railroad Crossings

Usually, the railroad crossings lack flashing red lights and crossing gates that are found in residential areas. These unprotected crossings cause train derailments as they could not detect adequate warning due to a lack of lights and gates.

The endangered railroad crossings are spread all over the world that are most often caused by the malfunction of signals. It may conductor negligence, obstacles, speedy trains, and poor visibility.


We have been seeing several collides and causes of train derailments in the past that occur as a result of the improper running of the vehicles on tracks. Most of them are minor and result in a temporary disorder. But when a derailment occurs, it causes a serious injury or loss of life.

But we should take steps to avoid these accidents such as the drivers should not speed up the trains to the crossings. Keeping the crossovers in good condition, ensuring the control system is proper, the passengers should follow the tools of the journey, etc.


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