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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-06-022
Details
Synopsis: On April 3, 2005, about 9:35 a.m., westbound Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) passenger train No. 27, consisting of a single locomotive unit and four passenger cars, derailed at milepost (MP) 58.56 on the BNSF Railway Company’s (BNSF’s) Northwest Division. The train was traveling 60 mph on single main line track when it derailed as it was traveling through a cut section of the Columbia River Gorge on the north side of the Columbia River near Home Valley, Washington. The train remained upright; however, the cars came to rest leaning up to approximately 35 against the outside curved embankment. There were 106 passengers and 9 Amtrak employees on board. Thirty people (22 passengers and 8 employees) sustained minor injuries; 14 of those people were taken to local hospitals. Two of the injured passengers were kept overnight for further observation; the rest were released. Track and equipment damages, in addition to clearing costs associated with the accident, totaled about $854,000.
Recommendation: The National Transportation Safety Board makes the following safety recommendation to the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association: Using the circumstances of the April 3, 2005, accident near Home Valley, Washington, emphasize to your railroad members through your publications, web site, and conferences, as appropriate, the need to establish inspection guidelines for track inspectors that address the problems and characteristics unique to concrete crossties for all classes of track. As your railroad members develop these guidelines, encourage them to consider the elements in 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 213, "Track Safety Standards," for concrete crossties for Classes of Track 6 and higher.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Home Valley, WA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA05FR010
Accident Reports: Derailment of Amtrak Passenger Train No. 27
Report #: RAB-06-03
Accident Date: 4/3/2005
Issue Date: 10/25/2006
Date Closed: 10/5/2007
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association
Date: 10/5/2007
Response: The Safety Board notes that the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) distributed Safety Recommendation R-06-22 to the Chairmen of all AREMA Technical Committees, the AREMA Functional Group Board of Directors, and members of AREMA Committee 30 Ties, whose responsibility it would be to develop the recommended guidelines. AREMA’s distribution of Safety Recommendation R-06-22 to inform its members and to urge them to establish inspection guidelines on the issue of concrete tie abrasion standards completes the recommended action. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation R-06-22 is classified Closed Acceptable Action. Thank you for your prompt action on this important safety issue.

From: American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association
To: NTSB
Date: 2/27/2007
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 3/5/2007 1:18:10 PM MC# 2070090:This is response to your communication of October 25, 2006 regarding the above-referenced matter. We apologize for this delayed response. Please be advised that the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) has taken the following action in your response to your recommendations. The Safety Board’s recommendation was distributed on November 15, 2006 to the Chairmen of all AREMA Technical Committees as well as the AREMA Functional Group Board of Directors. This is the group responsible for the development and revision of AREMA recommended practices, and is the most appropriate distribution mechanism for such a document within AREMA. The Safety Board’s recommendation was also shared with the members of AREMA Committee 30 -Ties. We will continue to disseminate the Safety Board’s recommendation at all appropriate gatherings of the Association.