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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-73-032
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: REVISE 49 CFR 230, (D) TO THE EXTENT THAT DATA ARE NOW AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE BETTER PROTECTION FOR PASSENGERS IN COLLISIONS. FURTHER, THE FRA SHOULD ENFORCE REGULATIONS ON NEW CARS BEFORE THEY ARE PUT INTO REVENUE SERVICE.
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: 11/17/1975
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/11/1974
Response: FRA IN CONJUNCTION WITH UMTA HAS A RESEARCH PROJECT IN PROGRES TSC EVALUATING THE INTERIORS AND EXTERIORS OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLEDPASSENGER CARRYING CARS TO PROVIDE FOR BETTER PROTECTION FOR PASSENGERS AND CREW MEMBERS IN DERAILMENTS AND COLLISIONS. FRA WILL REVIEW AND REVISE 49 CFR 230,(D) AS NECESSARY. THE FRA IS PRESENTLY ENFORCING REGULATIONS ON NEW ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED PASSENGER CARS BEFORE THEY ARE PUT INTO REVENUE SERVICE.