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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-69-011
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: REVIEW 49 CFR 174.506, WHICH INTENDED TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC AGAINST FIRE OR EXPLOSION RESULTING FROM RAILROAD ACCIDENTS BY THE ASSIGNMENT OF THE HANDLING OF THE EMERGENCY TO THE BUREAU OF EXPLOSIVES OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS. THIS REGULATION APPEARS TO PLACE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PUBLIC SAFETY IN THE HANDS OF A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION REPRESENTING ONLY ONE OF THE INTERESTS INVOLVED, AND WHICH MAY NOT BE ABLE TO HANDLE EXPEDITIOUSLY EMERGENCIES WHICH MAY DEVELOP. THE BOARD IS AWARE THAT THE PRACTICE OF DELEGATING RESPONSIBILITY FOR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS REGULATIONS TO PRIVATE AGENCIES IS UNDER STUDY BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.
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): Hazmat

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

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/4/1969
Response: FRA LTR: AT PRESENT, THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION IS NOT CHARGED WITH "FIRE FIGHTING" RESPONSIBILITY. ALSO, THE ADMINISTRATION LACKS PERSONNEL TRAINED IN THE HIGHLY SPECIALIZED ART OF APPLYING EFFECTIVE "COUNTER MEASURES" TO LEADING AND BURNING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, OR DAMAGED HAZARDOUS MATERIALS CONTAINERS. AS THE BOARD NOTED, THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY AND THE BUILDING OF GREATER CAPABILITY WITHIN GOVERNMENT IS UNDER STUDY.