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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-74-029
Details
Synopsis: AT 4:30 P.M.,E.D.S.T., ON AUGUST 8, 1973 A 1972 MUSTANG CARRYING FIVE TEENAGERS WAS DRIVEN ONTO THE ELECTRIFIED TRACKS OF THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD BY AN UNLICENSED 15-YEAR-OLD GIRL. THE CAR'S CONTACT WITH THE THIRD RAIL CAUSED A MOMENTARY SHORT CIRCUIT AND INITIATED SEVERE ELECTRICAL ARCING. THE CAR IMMEDIATELY BEGAN TO BURN AT THE FRONT, AND THE FIRE SPREAD TO THE REAR. THE TWO GIRLS IN THE FRONT SEATS ESCAPED THROUGH THE RIGHT DOOR. THE THREE GIRLS IN THE BACK SEAT DIED IN THE FIRE.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION AND THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD: DEVELOP PROCEDURES AND EQUIPMENT BY WHICH EMERGENCY RESCUE PERSONNEL CAN SAFELY SHORT CIRCUIT THE ELECTRIFIED TRACKS WHEN THERE IS A NEED FOR IMMEDIATE POWER SHUTDOWN TO FACILITATE RESCUE EFFORTS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Reconsidered
Mode: Highway
Location: Garden City, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79759
Accident Reports: Automobile Intrusion Onto the Long Island Railroad Electrified Tracks and Fire
Report #: HAR-74-03
Accident Date: 8/8/1973
Issue Date: 10/9/1974
Date Closed: 1/1/1980
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Reconsidered)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/7/1975
Response: A LETTER FROM THE ACTING ADMINISTRATOR STATED THAT THE FRA DOE BELIEVE IT IS POSSIBLE TO CONSTRUCT A PORTABLE DEVICE THAT WILL ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVES CONTAINED IN THE RECOMMENDATION. THERE ARE SEVERAL INHERENT PROBLEM AREAS INVOLVED WITH THIS APPROACH: 1. THE NEED FOR AN EXTREMELY LOW AND OFTEN NEGATIVE SHORTING RESISTANCE. 2.POTENTIAL EXPLOSIONS CAUSED BY LOCALIZED HEATING OF THE SHORTING BAR. 3. POTENTIAL FRACTURED WELDS BETWEEN THE BAR AND THE POWER RAILS AND THE BAR AND THE TETURN RAILS CAUSED BY NON-UNIFORM AND RAPID HEATING AND COOLING OF THE BAR. THEREFORE, THE FRA MUST REJECT THE RECOMMENDATION FOR THE GREATER SAFETY OF ALL CONCERNED. 4-8-76 FRA LETTER RESPONDED TO THE BOARD'S REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION BY SAYING THAT DUE TO THE COMPLEXITIES INVOLVE WITH CATENARY AND THIRD RAIL POWER SUPPLY, THE FRA HAS BEEN CONDUCTING CONSIDERABLE RESEARCH IN THIS AREA. OUR FIELD FORCE IS CONSULTING WITH THE LONG ISLAND RAIL ROAD TO EXPLORE THE OPERATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS AS WELL AS THE EMERGENCY PROCEDURES INVOLVED WHEN THERE IS A NEED FOR IMMEDIATE SHUTDOWN TO FACILITATE RESCUE EFFORTS. THE EXPECT TO PROVIDE THE BOARD WITH THEIR CONCLUSIONS SHORTLY. 9-8-76 FRA LETTER STATES THAT RESEARCH AND STUDIES OF THIS RAIL AND CANTENARY SYSTEMS ARE UNDERWAY. UPON RECEIPT AND ANALYSIS OF THE REPORT DEVELOPED THROUGH THESE STUDIES CONSIDERATION WILL BE GIVEN AS TO WHETHER REGULATORY PROPOSALS ARE WARRANTED. FRA HAS MET WITH OFFICIALS OF THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD ONTHIS RECOMMENDATION. LIRR PROCEDURE: DIRECT LINE BETWEEN RR POLICE AND MANASSAS COUNTY POLICE. CARRIER MAINTAINS A DIRECT LINE BETWEEN THE MOVEMENT BUREAU AND EACH BURROUGH FIRE DEPT. ALL VEHICLES OPERATED BY CARRIER ARE EQUIPPED WITH RADIOS WHICH ARE IN CONTACT WITH THE MOVEMENT BUREAU, AND POWER DIRECTOR. LIRR HAS COMPLETED A PILOT WIRE FAULT SENSOR SYSTEM ON ALL SUB-STATION BREAKERS. THIS SYSTEM WILL PREVENT AN EVENT SUCH AS THE GARDEN CITY ACCIDENT. FRA FEELS THESE PRECAUTIONS ARE RELIABLE METHODS TO SHUT DOWN THE THIRE RAIL POWER IN THE EVENT OF A SIMILAR ACCIDENT.