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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-05-009
Details
Synopsis: On October 12, 2003, about 4:38 p.m., central daylight time, westbound Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad (Metra) train 519 derailed its two locomotives and five passenger cars as it traversed a crossover from track 1 to track 2 near Control Point 48th Street in Chicago, Illinois. The train derailed at a recorded speed of about 68 mph. The maximum authorized speed through the crossover was 10 mph. There were about 375 passengers and a crew of 3 on board. As a result of the accident, 47 passengers were transported to eight local hospitals. Of these, 44 were treated and released, and 3 were admitted for observation. Damages from the accident exceeded $5 million.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: Develop guidelines for locomotive engineer simulator training programs that go beyond developing basic skills and teach strategies for effectively managing multiple concurrent tasks and atypical situations.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Chicago, IL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA04MR001
Accident Reports: Derailment of Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Train 519
Report #: RAR-05-03
Accident Date: 10/12/2003
Issue Date: 11/23/2005
Date Closed: 3/17/2015
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Training and Education, Simulator

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 3/17/2015
Response: We understand that Veolia developed the requested guidelines in collaboration with you and the Volpe Center, using industry human factors research and your Cab Technology Integration Lab simulator, in September 2014. We note that the guidelines teach strategies to locomotive crews for managing distractions and the importance of sustained attention on the locomotive operating task. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation R-05-9 is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/18/2014
Response: -From Joseph C. Szabo, Administrator: Veolia completed the project at the end of September 2014, as scheduled. Veolia has conducted an out briefing on the research and the final FRA technical report is in the editing process for publication. Veolia recently provided a briefing on the project at the American Public Transportation Association 2014 Annual Meeting & Expo and received much interest from the passenger rail lines on the training course developed in conjunction with the research done in FRA's Cab Technology Integration Lab (CTIL) simulator. The training material is a copyrighted product of Veolia and the training course developed is available to the industry through, and as a product of, Veolia. It teaches strategies to locomotive crews for managing distractions and the importance of sustained attention on the locomotive operating task. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is quite pleased to have partnered with Veolia to help address the industrywide issue of distraction in locomotive operations. This project demonstrates the utility of research as a collaborative effort among FRA, Volpe, and industry human factors research, the CTIL simulator, and the potential for more technology transfer of useful products to the industry.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 1/15/2014
Response: The last letter that we received from the FRA regarding Safety Recommendation R-05-9 was on August 19, 2009. We classified Safety Recommendation R-05-9 “Open?Acceptable Response” on June 28, 2010, pending receipt of the anticipated timeframe and completion of action to develop guidelines for locomotive engineer simulator training programs that teach strategies for multitasking and atypical situations. Because we have no evidence that the FRA has made any progress to satisfy this recommendation since 2009, pending an update from the FRA regarding it, Safety Recommendation R 05-9 is classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 12/1/2011
Response: CC# 201100449 was closed administratively; no response was written or mailed.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/12/2011
Response: -From Ray LaHood, Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation: NTSB Classification and Actions Taken by FRA: Open – Acceptable Response. FRA agrees that developing guidelines for locomotive engineer skill development that would contribute to good situational awareness is worthy of consideration, both as a further contribution to the quality of existing training programs and as a means of benchmarking the various programs. As part of FRA’s ongoing human factors research, FRA has indeed focused on the performance of locomotive engineers. See, e.g., “Technology Implications of a Cognitive Task Analysis for Locomotive Engineers,” January 2009, available on FRA’s Web site at http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/Research/ord0903.pdf. Moreover, in 2010 FRA installed the Cab Technology Integration Laboratory (CTIL) at the Volpe Center. The CTIL is a locomotive simulator that will help researchers to improve the design of controls and displays to minimize potential errors, increase situational awareness, enhance an engineer’s awareness of the movements of other trains and hazards that may appear on the right-of-way, and study the impact of impairment on human perception and sensation. It will also expand the transportation community’s knowledge of safety policy, operating procedures, and organizational factors that promote safe rail operations, and could be used to help develop operating scenarios and training methods consistent with this recommendation. Nonetheless, given other demands on FRA’s resources for research projects, FRA has not yet identified the funds needed to initiate action specifically in response to the recommendation, and cannot undertake it until such funds are identified. Actions Needed to Be Taken by FRA: Identify and secure funding. Develop and issue guidelines.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 6/28/2010
Response: The NTSB notes the FRA’s agreement that developing guidelines for locomotive engineer simulator training programs is good skill development that would contribute to good situational awareness, although it has not identified the resources needed to initiate this action. The NTSB would like to point out that Metra uses locomotive engineer simulator training to go beyond developing basic skills, teaching strategies for effectively managing multiple concurrent tasks and atypical situations. Mr. Marty Fitts, Superintendent of Transportation, Training, Certification, and Compliance, confirmed that Metra has installed five locomotive simulators for use in initial student engineer training, engineer recertification training, remedial training, and continuing engineer education for periodic skills assessment. The FRA may want to contact Metra or other railroads to obtain information that could aid in the development of FRA guidelines. Pending completion of action to develop guidelines for locomotive engineer simulator training programs that teach strategies for multitasking and atypical situations, Safety Recommendation R-05-9 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. The NTSB would appreciate being informed of the anticipated timeframe for accomplishing these tasks if the necessary resources have not yet been identified.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/19/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 8/26/2009 9:34:30 AM MC# 2090530: - From Joseph C. Szabo, Administrator: The FRA agrees that developing guidelines for locomotive engineer skill development that would contribute to good situational awareness is worthy of consideration, both as a further contribution to the quality of existing training programs and as a means of benchmarking the various programs. However, FRA has not identified the resources needed to initiate this action and cannot undertake it until such resources are identified. The work is being reviewed for possible inclusion in the fiscal year 2010 research and development plan. The FRA respectfully requests that NTSB continue to classify Safety Recommendation R-05-9 as "Open-Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 11/15/2006
Response: The Safety Board appreciates the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA's) general agreement with this recommendation. The Board notes, however, the FRA's statement that it does not currently have funding available to initiate this action, but will endeavor to identify appropriate resources to undertake this work. The Board would appreciate being informed of the anticipated timeframe for accomplishing these tasks. The Safety Board believes that, through communication with the railroads, the FRA may be able to identify one or more railroads that would be interested in implementing a pilot program for locomotive engineer simulator training programs that teach strategies for multi-tasking and for dealing with atypical situations that would aid in the development of the recommended guidelines. The Board further believes that none of these actions-developing and providing a timeframe for obtaining necessary resources, implementing a pilot program, and developing the recommended guidelines-should require an excessive amount of time or funding. Therefore, we encourage the FRA to act expeditiously and to keep the Board informed as progress occurs. Pending completion of action to develop guidelines for locomotive engineer simulator training programs that go beyond developing basic skills and teach strategies for effectively managing multiple concurrent tasks and atypical situations, Safety Recommendation R-05-9 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/16/2006
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 5/22/2006 1:28:07 PM MC# 2060249: - From Joseph H. Boardman, Administrator: Locomotive engineer training programs of the larger passenger and freight railroads generally incorporate both simulator and on-the-job training as a student engineer to supplement classroom instruction and contribute to skill development. The longer period of on-the-job training typically exposes the student to additional real-world demands including divided attention tasks. However, FRA agrees that developing guidelines for locomotive engineer skill development that contribute to good situational awareness is worthy of consideration both as a further contribution to the quality of existing training programs and as a means of benchmarking the various programs. FRA does not currently have funding available to initiate this action. However, FRA will endeavor to identify appropriate resources to undertake this work. We will also be in touch with Board staff as we develop a program plan. Until FRA can identify the necessary resources and initiate this action, FRA respectfully requests that the NTSB classify Safety Recommendation R-05-09 as "Open-Acceptable Action."