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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-18-023
Synopsis: On January 4, 2017, at 12:47 p.m. eastern standard time, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) trolley 9101 (struck trolley), traveling northwest on trolley route 10 with an estimated 47 passengers on board, stopped near the intersection of Lancaster Avenue and 38th Street, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to offload passengers. SEPTA trolley 9085 (striking trolley), with 6 passengers on board, was also traveling northwest on trolley route 10, and struck stopped SEPTA trolley 9101 in the rear at an estimated impact speed of 10 mph. First responders transported 40 passengers and both operators to local hospitals for treatment of minor injuries. The total estimated equipment damage to both trolleys was $60,000. At the time of the accident, the sky was partly cloudy, visibility was 10 miles, and the temperature was 54°F.
Recommendation: TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION: Develop performance standards for the use of forward collision avoidance systems technology for light-rail vehicles operating on an urban street environment.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Await Response
Mode: Railroad
Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: DCA17FR003
Accident Reports: Railroad Safety Recommendation Report:Rail Transit Vehicle Safe BrakingRailroad Accident Brief: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Trolley Collision
Report #: RAB-18-06
Accident Date: 1/4/2017
Issue Date: 9/18/2018
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Public Transportation Association (Open - Await Response)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Public Transportation Association
Date: 9/18/2018
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. On September 11, 2018, the NTSB adopted its accident brief, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Trolley Collision, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 4, 2017, RAB 18/06. The details of this accident brief and the resulting safety recommendation may be found in the accident brief, which can also be accessed at One safety recommendation is issued to the American Public Transportation Association, which can be found on page 11 of the report. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement this recommendation. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendations by number. We encourage you to submit your response to If it exceeds 20 megabytes, including attachments, please e-mail us at the same address for instructions. Please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response.