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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-72-003
Details
Synopsis: AT 8:50 P.M., OCTOBER 8, 1970, PENN CENTRAL TRANSPORTATION COM FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILED NEAR SOUND VIEW, CONNECTICUT. FREIGHT CARS OBSTRUCTED TRACK IN THE PATH OF PENN CENTRAL PASSENGER TRAIN. THE PASSENGER TRAIN STRUCK THE FREIGHT CARS, PUNCTURING AN LPG TANK CAR DESIGNATED AS "EMPTY." THE DERAILED UNITS OF THE PASSENGER TRAIN PASSED THROUGH IGNITED GASES FROM THE PUNCTURED TANK CAR AND CROSSED A RAILROAD BRIDGE. TRAIN CREWMEMBERS AND PASSENGERS WERE INJURED. THE SAFETY BOARD HAS DETERMINED THAT THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF THE DERAILMENT OF THE FREIGHT TRAIN WAS THE BREAKAGE OF A TRUCK SIDE OF A CAR ON THE FREIGHT TRAIN WHICH FOLLOWED A PROGRESSIVE FATIGUE CRACK FAILURE. THE BREAKAGE OF THE TRUCK SIDE RESULTED IN DAMAGE TO A TURNOUT, WHICH CAUSED DERAILMENT OF THE FOLLOWING CARS. THE CAUSE OF THE COLLISION TO THE PASSENGER TRAIN WAS THE OBSTRUCTION OF TRACKNO. 2 BY CARS OF THE FREIGHT TRAIN. THE BOARD CONCLUDED INDUSTRY CONTROLS TO PREVENT APPLICATION OF IMPROPER CAR COMPONENTS ARE INADEQUATE, EMPTY TANK CARS MAY BE HAZARDOUS, AND SUGGESTED THAT THEINDUSTRY SHOULD INCORPORATE CRASHWORTHY CONCEPTS, IMPROVE COMMUNICATION AND EQUIPMENT DESIGN, AND CONTROLS OVER MAINTENANCE, RETIREMENT, AND TESTING OF EQUIPMENT COMPONENTS. THE BOARD REQUESTEDTHAT BRIDGE STANDARDS AND JOINT CORRIDOR USAGE BE REVIEWED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: INITIATE STUDIES TO IDENTIFY THE HAZARDS INVOLVED IN THE JOINT USE OF TRACKS BY PASSENGER AND FREIGHT TRAINS AS A MEANS OF UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS ASSUMED. THIS STUDY SHOULD BE DONE JOINTLY WITH THE URBAN MASS TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION AND SHOULD INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, CLEARANCE, MEANS OF KEEPING DERAILED CARS IN LINE, DANGER OF SHIFTED LADING, AND SYSTEMS FOR DETECTING WHEN TRACK SPACE HAS BEEN VIOLATED.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Sound View, CT, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79990
Accident Reports: Penn Central Transportation Co. Freight Train Derailment, Passenger Train Collision with Hazardous Material Car
Report #: RAR-72-01
Accident Date: 10/8/1970
Issue Date: 12/22/1971
Date Closed: 9/10/1976
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Tank Car Loading and Unloading,

Safety Recommendation History
From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/25/1972
Response: FRA RESPONDS AS FOLLOWS: FRA AGREES THAT THERE MAY BE SOME HAZ IN JOINT USE OF COMMON CARRIER LINE-OF-ROAD AND WILL ATTEMPT TO IDENTIFY SOME OF THESE HAZARDS AND OTHER SIGNIFICANT CIRCUMSTANCES AS MAY BE DEVELOPED BY FRA'S INVESTIGATIONS OF THE LIMITED NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS WHICH INVOLVE PASSENGER TRAINS. ALSO, FRA HAS EVALUATED AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE PROPOSED FOR SCANNING TRACK STRUCTURES FOR ANY UNUSUAL OBSTRUCTION. JANUARY 5, 1976 LTR FRA TO CHAIRMAN - TWO STUDIES TO BE COMPLETED IN 1976, FOLLOWING WHICH A STATISTICAL BASE WILL BE ESTABLISHED. FRA TO CO-ORDINATE WITH UMTA TO DETERMINE ANY FURTHER NECESSARY ACTION.