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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-72-008
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: CONSIDER THE PROBLEMS FOUND IN THIS ACCIDENT IN THEIR CURRENT REVIEW OF RAILROAD COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS AND ESTABLISHMENT OF STANDARDS.
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: 7/6/1978
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Tank Car Loading and Unloading

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 8/18/1978
Response: Closed--Acceptable Action

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 7/22/1975
Response: What is the status of the NPRM your 10-10-74 response indicated would be prepared?

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/25/1972
Response: OCTOBER 10, 1974 FRA, THROUGH GEN'L. DAVIS RESPONDED, "NOTICES PROPOSED REGULATION SPECIFYING MINIMUM STANDARDS RELATING TO THE AREA OF RADIO COMMUNICATIONS IN RAILROAD OPERATIONS, INCLUDING THE USE OF RADIO FOR TRANSMISSION OF TRAIN ORDERS, WILL BE PREPARED BY CHIEF COUNSEL. JANUARY 5, 1976 LTR., FRA TO THE CHAIRMAN ATTACHING NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING AS IT APPEARED IN FEDERAL REGISTER VOL.40, NO. 155,8/11/75.FEDERAL REGISTER, VOL. 42, NO. 18 - JANUARY 27, 1977. FRAISSUED NEW PART 220 - RADIO STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FINAL RULE. AFTER AUGUST 1, 1977, THE REGULATION APPLIES TO ALL RAILROAD THAT ARE PART OF THE GENERAL RAILROAD SYSTEM OF TRANSPORTATION. PART 220 CONTAINS SUBJECTS THAT INCLUDE INSTRUCTION OF EMPLOYEES ON RADIO USAGE, INITIATING, RECEIVING AND ENDING A TRANSMISSION, MONITORING, NOTIFICATION OF RADIO FAILURE, RULES CONSISTENT WITH FCC REGULATIONS, EMERGENCIES, AND PARTICULARS OF YARD MOVEMENTS AND SIGNAL INDICATION AND TRAIN ORDERS.JANUARY 16, 1973 LETTER FROM AAR TRANSMITTING RAILROAD SAFETY RESEARCH STATUS REPORT TO THE SAFETY BOARD. MANY TECHNOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE IN RECENT YEARS IN RAILROAD COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS, WHICH ARE BEING CONTINUALLY REFINED AND IMPLEMENTED AS THE STATE-OF-THE-ART DEVELOPS.