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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-72-005
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: CONTINUE TO A CONCLUSION ITS RECENTLY INITIATED EFFORTS IN THE MATTER OF THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE DESIGN OF LOCOMOTIVE OPERATOR COMPARTMENTS TO RESIST CRASH DAMAGE, AND, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS, UNDERTAKE A REVIEW OF MODERN DESIGN CRASHWORTHINESS CONCEPTS IN AN EFFORT TO IDENTIFY AREAS OF APPLICABILITY IN THE RAILROAD INDUSTRY.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable
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: 6/28/1979
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s): Tank Car Loading and Unloading

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 6/28/1979
Response: Noting the similarities in the objective of the recommendations, the Safety Board has concluded that continued handling of both recommendations is not necessary. Therefore, recommendation R-78-27 will continue to be addressed while recommendation R-72-5 will be "Closed-No Longer Applicable."

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/25/1972
Response: FRA LTR: FRA HAS COMPILED AND IS EVALUATING A MASS OF INFORMATION REGARDING FACTORS OF CONTROL COMPARTMENT DESIGN, LOCATION, ETC., WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO CASUALTIES AS A RESULT OF COLLISIONS OR OTHER ACCIDENTS. ADDITINALLY, AN INDUSTRY-WIDE COMMITTEE HAS BEEN ACTIVATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING AN ALL-INCLUSIVE STUDY OF GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF LOCOMOTIVE CONTROL COMPARTMENTS. 7/14/78 - FRA LTR: IN JUNE 1974 A THREE PHASE STUDY WAS INITIATED AT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS CENTER IN CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, TO EVALUATE AND IMPROVE THE CRASHWORTHINESS OF PASSENGER CARRYING VEHICLES IN INTERCITY SERVICE. THE STUDY IS ENTITLED STRUCTURAL DESIGN OF A CRASHWORTHY LOCOMOTIVE CAB. 5/17/79 - FRA LTR AND DISCUSSION IN 4/17/79 NTSB/QUARTERLY MEETING: FRA HAS DIRECTED RESEARCH TOWARD THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE DESIGN OF LOCOMOTIVE OPERATOR COMPARTMENTS TO RESIST CRASH DAMAGE. FULL SCALE IMPACT TESTS HAVE IDENTIFIED MANY POTENTIAL PROBLEMS LEADING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CURRENT GUIDELINES AND CONCEPTS WHICH ARE INCORPORATED IN LOCOMOTIVES BEING CONSTRUCTED AT THE PRESENT TIME, SUCH AS ANTICLIMBERS, A SLOPING FRONT, AND COLLISION POSTS WITH INCREASED STRENGTH. DURING THE NEXT TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS, THE FRA WILL HAVE COMPLETED THE CRASHWORTHINESS STUDIES THAT IT PRESENTLY HAS PROPOSED AND IN PROGRESS TO IMPROVE STRUCTURAL GUIDELINES AND ANTICLIMB PROTECTION TO MINIMIZE INJURIES SUSTAINED BY OCCUPANTS OF THE LOCOMOTIVE CAB. AFTER THE COMPLETION OF THESE TESTS, WHEN THE DATA HAS BEEN ANALYZED, THE FRA WILL WORK WITH THE INDUSTRY TO PREPARE GUIDELINES TO IMPROVE THE CRASHWORTHINESS OF LOCOMOTIVE COMPARTMENTS.