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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-13-036
Synopsis: On September 30, 2013, at 7:42am central daylight time, an unoccupied CTA train consisting of four cars collided with a CTA train in revenue service that was stopped at the Harlem Station on the Blue Line. There were about 40 passengers on the in-service CTA train. CTA reported that 33 passengers were transported to three local hospitals. All were treated and released. There were no fatalities. The unoccupied train had been stored at Forest Park Repair Terminal awaiting repairs when it began moving under power and departed the terminal entering main line track. The train traveled almost one mile downhill through five mechanical train stop mechanisms before reaching the Harlem Station. The emergency brakes were applied and the train was momentarily stopped several times by the mechanical train stop mechanisms as it proceeded to the Harlem Station. Following each stop, train movement resumed because the master lever on the operator console had been left in a setting that allowed the train car brakes to recover and reset from the emergency brake application and proceed through a mechanical train stop mechanism after a momentary stop. The investigation into the cause of unintended movement continues. The investigation has raised concerns about the need for improved protection against unintended movement.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION: Issue a safety advisory to all rail transit properties asking them to review their operating and maintenance procedures for stored unoccupied cars to ensure the propulsion and brake systems are left in a condition that would not facilitate unintended movement and that redundant means of stopping unintended rail car movements, such as wheel chocks and/or a derails are used. (Urgent)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Forest Park, IL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: DCA13FR014
Accident Reports: ​Railroad Accident Brief: Collision of Two Chicago Transit Authority Trains
Report #: RAB-15-02
Accident Date: 9/30/2013
Issue Date: 10/4/2013
Date Closed: 3/18/2014
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FTA (Closed - Acceptable Action)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
Date: 3/18/2014
Response: Your publication of Urgent Safety Advisory?Unintended Train Movements on October 4, 2013, satisfied Safety Recommendation R-13-36, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.