Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-73-031
Details
Synopsis: THIS REPORT DESCRIBES AND ANALYZES THE COLLISION OF TWO ILLINO CENTRAL GULF RAILROAD COMMUTER TRAINS IN CHICAGO, ILL., ON THE MORNING OF OCTOBER 30, 1972. A TRAIN CONSISTING OF FOUR NEW HIGHLINER CARS OVERRAN A STATION STOP, ATTEMPTED TO BACK UP TO THE PLATFORM, AND WAS STRUCK FROM THE REAR BY ANOTHER TRAIN OPERATING ONTHE SAME TRACK. THE FIRST CAR OF THE FOLLOWING TRAIN OVERRODE THE UNDERFRAME OF THE LAST CAR OF THE LEAD TRAIN AND TELESCOPED THE CAR.THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD DETERMINES THAT THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF THIS ACCIDENT WAS THE REVERSE MOVEMENT OF TRAIN 416 (THE LEAD TRAIN) WITHOUT FLAG PROTECTION INTO A PREVIOUSLY VACATED SIGNAL BLOCK AND THE FAILURE OF THE ENGINEER OF TRAIN 720 (THE FOLLOWING TRAIN), WHILE OPERATING FASTER THAN THE PRESCRIBED SPEED, TO PERCEIVE THE TRAIN AHEAD IN TIME TO AVOID THE COLLISION. AMBIGUOUS RULES WHICH CAUSED CONFUSION AMONG EMPLOYEES REGARDING THE NECESSITY TO FLAG WITHIN AUTOMATIC-BLOCK SIGNAL SYSTEM LIMITS AND THE REDUCED IMPORTANCE OF FLAGGING IN SUBURBAN SERVICE IMPLIED BY THE MANAGEMENT'S FAILURE TO ENFORCE RULES 7, 35, 99, 896, AND 1003 ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCIDENT.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION AND THE URBAN MASS TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATION: INITIATE RESEARCH TO DEVELOP THE TECHNICAL APPROACHES TO CRASH WORTHINESS IN LIGHT-WEIGHT PASSENGER CARS FOR USE IN COMMUTER OR RAIL RAPID-TRANSIT OPERATIONS. THESE APPROACHES SHOULD INCLUDE CRASH TESTING AS PART OF THE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT FUNCTION FOR NEW EQUIPMENT.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Chicago, IL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 80002
Accident Reports: Collision of Illinois Central Gulf Railroad Commuter Trains
Report #: RAR-73-05
Accident Date: 10/30/1972
Issue Date: 6/28/1973
Date Closed: 12/11/1974
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/11/1974
Response: FRA PRESENTLY HAS IN PROGRESS A STUDY COVERING CRASHWORTHINESS RAILROAD PASSENGER CARS AT TSC. CRASH TESTING AS PART OF THE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT FUNCTION FOR NEW EQUIPMENT IS PLANNED FOR FY 76. OCTOBER 10, 1974 FRA, THROUGH GEN'L DAVIS RESPONDED, "FRA PRESENTLY HAS IN PROGESS 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." DECEMBER 11, 1974 CLOSED. NOTATION 1473. CRITERIA ITEM. NO.1