Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-69-008
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 9:30 P.M., JANUARY 1, 1968, PENNSYLVANIA WESTBOUND FREIGHT TRAIN PR-11A, CONSISTING OF 98 CARS AND A FIVE-UNIT DIESEL-ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE, WAS PASSING DUNREITH, INDIANA, AT 42 MILES PER HOUR WHEN THE TRAILING WHEELS OF THE 88TH CAR, AN EMPTY TANK CAR, AESX 850, DERAILED AT A BROKEN RAIL NEAR THE EASTERN EDGE OF THE TOWN. AT THE SAME TIME, EASTBOUND FREIGHT TRAIN SW-6, CONSISTING OF A FIVE-UNIT DIESEL-ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVE AND 106 CARS, WAS MOVING EASTWARD AT 32 MILES PER HOUR ON THE ADJACENT TRACK.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: INCLUDE IN ITS CURRENT STUDY OF AN IMPROVED COUPLER DESIGN, THE PROBLEM OF KEEPING CARS COUPLED AND IN LINE WITH THE TRACK AND WITH EACH OTHER AFTER A DERAILMENT OCCURS. IN ORDER TO ATTAIN AN INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION OF TRACK AND ROLLING STOCK FEATURES THAT WOULD LIMIT THE AFTER EFFECTS WHICH CAN NOW FOLLOW A SIMPLE DERAILMENT, THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION SHOULD ALSO STUDY OTHER RELATED TECHNICAL APPROACHES TO CONTROL INTERFERENCE WITH TRAFFIC ON ADJACENT TRACKS AND WAYSIDE STRUCTURES DURING DERAILMENTS, SUCH AS MEANS OF LIMITING THE LATERAL EXCURSION OF WHEELS, AND THE SEPARATION OF TRUCKS FROM THE CARS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Dunreith, IN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79780
Accident Reports: ​Pennsylvania Railroad, Train PR-11A, Extra 2210 West and Train SW-6, Extra 2217 East, Derailment and Collision
Report #: RAR-68-03
Accident Date: 1/1/1968
Issue Date: 12/18/1968
Date Closed: 11/17/1975
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 11/20/1969
Response:

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/4/1969
Response: FRA LTR: FRA ENDORSES THE CONCEPT OF AN INTERLOCKING COUPLER DESIGN SUCH AS A "TYPE F COUPLER," IN LIEU OF CURRENT "TYPE E COUPLER" WHICH DOES ESSENTIALLY NOTHING TOWARD RESTRAINING ADVERSE VERTICAL DISENGAGEMENT. THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION HAS URGED THE GENERAL COMMITTEE OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS TO REQUIRE SUCH COUPLERS ON ALL NEWLY CONSTRUCTED CARS, WITH A PARTICULAR MANDATE TO APPLY SUCH COUPLERS TO ALL NEWLY BUILT OR RE-BUILT TANK CARS. 10/10/74 - FRA LTR: THE OFFICE OF SAFETY ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1970, ISSUED HM-38 (RESTRICTION OF CAPACITY OF TANK CARS AND INTERLOCKING COUPLERS) AMENDING 49 CFR REQUIRING ALL TANK CARS BUILT AFTER NOVEMBER 30, 1970, TO BE EQUIPPED WITH INTERLOCKING AUTOMATIC COUPLERS (F-TYPE). ON NOVEMBER 1, 1970, THE OFFICE OF SAFETY REISSUED HM-38 DUE TO COMMENTS RECEIVED EXTENDING THE MANDATORY DATE FOR USE OF REQUIRED F-TYPE COUPLERS TO JANUARY 1, 1971. AAR/RPI IS SPONSORING FIELD TESTING OF 250 SETS OF DOUBLE SHELF E-TYPE COUPLERS. FRA AWARDED CONTRACT NO. PA-4069, COUPLER ANALYTICAL STUDIES AND EXPERIMENTS, WAS LET ON FEBRUARY 28, 1974, COST $195,000. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS, AND AMERICAN CAR AND FOUNDRY ARE WORKING JOINTLY ON THIS STUDY. THIS CONTRACT IS SCHEDULED TO BE COMPLETED IN JUNE 1975.