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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-70-022
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 8:20 P.M. ON AUGUST 20, 1969, PENN CENTRAL COMMUTER TRAIN-48 AND N-49 COLLIDED HEAD-ON JUST NORTH OF THE HOYT STREET CROSSING ON THE NEW CANAAN BRANCH NEAR DARIEN, CONNECTICUT. TRAIN N-48, GOING FROM STAMFORD TO NEW CANAAN, HAD A THREE-MAN CREW AND ABOUT 60 TO 80 PASSENGERS. THE FIRST CAR IN TRAIN N-48 HAD BEEN CLOSED TO REVENUE PASSENGERS BEFORE IT LEFT STAMFORD. TRAIN N-49, A DEADHEAD EQUIPMENT TRAIN FROM NEW CANAAN TO STAMFORD, HAD A THREE-MAN CREW AND WAS CARRYING A CAR INSPECTOR AND AN ELECTRICIAN WHO HAD PERFORMED SERVICE AT NEW CANAAN AND WERE RETURNING TO STAMFORD, STILL ON DUTY. A PASSENGER, WHO WAS RIDING WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION IN THE HEAD CAR OF N-48, AND THE ENGINEER WERE KILLED.THE CONDUCTOR, FLAGMAN, AND ABOUT 40 PASSENGERS WERE INJURED. THE CONDUCTOR AND FLAGMAN ON TRAIN N-49 WERE KILLED AND THE ENGINEER WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED. THE HEAD CARS OF BOTH TRAINS WERE ALMOST COMPLETELY DESTROYED; OTHER CARS WERE LESS SEVERLY DAMAGED.
Recommendation: THE SAFETY BOARD REITERATES THE RECOMMENDATION MADE IN ITS REPORT COVERING THE DERAILMENT OF PENN CENTRAL TRAIN SECOND 115 AT GLENN DALE, MARYLAND, ON JUNE 28, 1969, "...THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION INITIATE STUDIES TO DETERMINE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RAIL PASSENGER CAR DESIGN AND PASSENGER INJURY AND, WHERE PRACTICAL, TAKE ACTION FOR CORRECTION IN THE DESIGN OF FUTURE HIGH-SPEED AND RAPID TRANSIT PASSENGERS CARS." THESE STUDIES SHOULD INCLUDE SOME FORM OF OCCUPANT RESTRAINING DEVICE.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Darien, CT, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 80011
Accident Reports: Penn Central Company, Collision of Trains N-48 and N-49
Report #: RAR-70-03
Accident Date: 8/20/1969
Issue Date: 10/23/1970
Date Closed: 11/17/1975
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Crashworthiness, Restraint Systems

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 2/3/1971
Response: From the railroad accident report: Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad Company train number 10/76 derailment with three fatalities and numerous personal injuries in Franconia, Virginia on January 27. 1970. The Board adopted this report on 2/3/1971. In addition, the Safety Board reiterates recommendations from previous accident reports as follows: from the Southern Railway Company; Laurel, Mississippi; January 25, 1969: “..The Federal Railroad Administration take the necessary steps to impose regulations requiring all mainline trains to be equipped with devices to record the speed of trains.” From the Penn Central Company; Glenn Dale, Maryland; June 28, 1969; “…The Federal Railroad Administration, in cooperation with the Association of American Railroads and the American Railway Engineering Association, conduct studies, including tests, to determine desirable combinations of track and equipment components required to act as a system to keep derailed cars upon and in line with the track structure.” “…The Federal Railroad Administration initiate studies to determine the relationship between rail passenger car design and passenger injury and, where practical, take action for correction in the design of future high-speed and rapid transit passenger cars.” Particular emphasis should be given to the size, and method of retention, of passenger car windows as related to this probability of window breakage and its sequel, ejection and severe injury. These studies should include a review of the experience of window size and ejection in large buses and school buses.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/18/1970
Response: OCTOBER 10, 1974 FRA, THROUGH GEN'L. DAVIS RESPONDED," FRA PRESENTLY HAS IN PROGRESS A STUDY COVERING CRASHWORTHINESS OF RAILROAD PASSENGER CARS AT TSC. CRASH TESTING AS PART OF THE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT FUNCTION FOR NEW EQUIPMENT IS PLANNED FOR FY 76."