Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-72-007
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: REVIEW THE TESTING PROCEDURES OF CRITICAL COMPONENTS IN THE INDUSTRY, AND DETERMINE WHERE FEDERAL STANDARDS MAY BE REQUIRED TO ASSURE THE ADEQUACY OF THE TESTS.
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: 11/17/1975
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: OCTOBER 10, 1974 FRA, THROUGH GEN'L DAVIS RESPONDED, "SERIES O PROJECTS PERFORMED AT TSC COVERING: (1) DETERMINATION OF ROLLER BEARING SERVICE LIFE (2) DETERMINATION OF ALLOWABLE FLAW SIZE IN (A)TRUCKS (B) SIDE FRAMES (C) BOLSTERS (D) WHEELS AND (E) AXLES. DEVELOPMENT OF COST/EFFECTIVE INSPECTION TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGY FOR THERE CRITICAL COMPONENTS ARE BEING INVESTIGATED.JANUARY 16, 1973 LETTER FROM AAR TRANSMITTING RAILROAD SAFETY RESEARCH STATUS REPORT TO THE SAFETY BOARD. THE AAR CONTINOUSLY UPDATES ITS TESTING PROCEDURES TO INSURE THAT DEVICES INTRODUCED IN SERVICE ARE REQUIRED TO PASS STRINGENT TESTS. FURTHERMORE, IN ITS IN-HOUSE AND COOPERATIVE PROGRAMS, IT IS EXAMINING THE OPPORTUNITY FOR DEVISING AN IMPROVED PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATION WITH MORE STRINGENT TESTING REQUIREMENTS IN ORDER TO INSURE THAT AN ADEQUATE RANGE OF TESTS IS REQUIRED OF NEW EQUIPMENT BEFORE THAT EQUIPMENT IS INTRODUCED INTO SERVICE.