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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-75-005
Details
Synopsis: AT 4:57 A.M. ON JULY 5, 1974, AMTRAK TRAIN NO. 4-C WAS OPERATI THE TRACKS OF THE ATCHISON, TOPEKA, AND SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY JUST EAST OF MELVERN, KANSAS. AS THE TRAIN MOVED OVER A TURNOUT LEADING FROM THE SOUTH MAIN TRACK TO A SIDING LOCATED BETWEEN THE TWO MAIN TRACKS, THE REAR 13 CARS OF THE 18-CAR TRAIN DERAILED. THE REAR SIX CARS TURNED OVER, SLID DOWN AN EMBANKMENT, AND CAME TO A STOP ON THEIR SIDES. FIFTEEN EMPLOYEES AND 87 PASSENGERS WERE INJURED AS A RESULT OF THE ACCIDENT. ONE OF THE INJURED PASSENGERS DIED SEVERAL WEEKS LATER. THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD DETERMINES THAT THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT WAS THE BROKEN CLOSURE RAIL OF THE TURNOUT LEADING FROM THE SOUTH MAIN TRACK TO THESIDING. THE INSUFFICIENT STRENGTH OF THE TRACK BOLT AND THE APPARENTSTRESSED CONDITION OF THE RAIL CONTRIBUTED TO THE CAUSE OF THE BROKEN RAIL.
Recommendation: TO AMTRAK: Require the installation of the latest practical crashworthiness features when rolling stock is renovated or when new cars and locomotives are purchased. (Superseded by R-84-40)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Superseded
Mode: Railroad
Location: Melvern, KS, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79997
Accident Reports: Derailment of an Amtrak Train on the Tracks of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company
Report #: RAR-75-01
Accident Date: 7/5/1974
Issue Date: 2/5/1975
Date Closed: 11/29/1984
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) (Closed - Superseded)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
Date: 11/29/1984
Response: From the greensheet issuing R-84-37 through R-84-43: As a result of its investigation of an accident in Melvern, Kansas, on July 5, 1974, the Safety Board issued Safety Recommendation R-75-5, which recommended that Amtrak, …require the installation of the latest practical crashworthiness features when rolling stock is renovated or when new cars and locomotives are purchased. Amtrak informed the Safety Board on July 21, 1976, that new equipment it would be ordering in the next several years "will be provided with the latest crashworthiness features." However, an analysis of the injuries sustained by persons involved in the Wilmington accident and riding in these new cars indicates that, despite Amtrak's attention to this problem, some of the sources of injuries present in previous Amtrak accidents have not been eliminated or controlled and continue to pose a threat to passengers and employees. Based on the issuance of the more comprehensive Safety Recommendation R-84-40 in this report, Safety Recommendation R-75-5 has been placed in a CLOSED--SUPERSEDED status.

From: NTSB
To: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
Date: 6/28/1976
Response: We appreciate the steps you have taken in eliminating injury producing features in Amtrak Cars in response to Recommendations R-72-27 and R-75-5.

From: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
To: NTSB
Date: 5/6/1976
Response: AMTRAK LTR: WE ARE ATTEMPTING TO CORRECT INJURY CAUSING FEATURES MENTIONED IN YOUR RECOMMENDATION. 7/21/76 AMTRAK LTR: AMTRAK ADVISES THAT THEY ARE ORDERING 492 AMFLEET CARS, 235 BI-LEVEL CARS, 13 TURBINE TRAINS WHICH WILL BE USED TO REPLACE EXISTING EQUIPMENT. THIS EQUIP MENT WILL BE PROVIDED WITH THE LATEST CRASHWORTHINESS FEATURES.