Factual error: When Connie asks Frank how much power he has he responds 5000 Horses. His train has only one locomotive 1206 that is an EMD SD40-2 that is rated at 3000 HP. Furthermore, when asking about power of a train it is typically given as HPT (Horsepower per Ton) and not as the total horsepower of the locomotive. (00:47:50)
Factual error: In the scene immediately after the locomotives that were trying to slow 777 get derailed and blow up, the next scene immediately shows Colson in the cab of his train exclaiming about the explosion which he sees just over the tree tops. Impossible. Colson's train is still miles away on the head on collision course with 777, and Colson could not possibly see this explosion, let alone as if it was just around the bend.
Factual error: In the yard when the air hoses are discovered to be not connected, the purpose of the connected hoses is to release the brakes, not apply them. With the hoses disconnected the brakes on all the cars are automatically applied.
Factual error: Towards the end, when the red pickup is alongside 777 with Colson on the back, the camera shows the speedo of the truck, and the needle going over 60 MPH. This speedo shot is of a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT 500, not a Ford Super Duty. As an aside, this shot is taken from "Gone in 60 Seconds", with Nicholas Cage.
Factual error: In the scene where they try to slow the train with 2 engines and lower an engineer aboard, at the end the 2 engines derail as they go onto a siding and explode. Engines like these would never explode in real life, and none have ever done so in any derailment in history. They only contain diesel fuel which is very difficult to ignite, only other cars with flammable materials ever explode in real derailments. In the scene they do not strike anything else with explosive potential, and the explosion is not necessary for the plot. The engineer aboard could likely have died still just from the speed of the derailment.
Factual error: In several scenes PA State Police Troopers are shown wearing metal badges on their shirts or jackets. PA troopers do not wear shirt badges. Their hat is considered their badge of authority.
Factual error: The vigilance system on the locomotive, once unattended for at least a few minutes, would apply the brakes (which in the movie said wouldn't work, which is true) however it would also cut the throttle automatically, so the train wouldn't accelerate.
Factual error: Connie is giving orders to people in the railroad control room like she's in charge. In reality the control director is in charge, and the yardmaster doesn't have any authority over him as he is a higher ranked employee, with higher authority than the yardmaster. While yardmasters do work in the control room to help engineers who finished loading, and left yards reach their destinations, they don't give orders to any of the staff in the control room. They only have authority over the yards they manage.
Factual error: In several scenes a PA State Police Captain is shown wearing a "Trooper" style campaign hat. Only PSP enlisted ranks (Trooper, Corporal, Sergeant) wear campaign hats. Higher ranks, including Captain, wear round military "service" caps.