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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-75-007
Details
Synopsis: ON JANUARY 2, 1975, PENN CENTRAL COMMUTER TRAIN 528 COLLIDED W PENN CENTRAL COMMUTER TRAIN 526 ON THE HARLEM LINE NEAR BOTANICAL GARDEN STATION IN NEW YORK CITY. THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD'S CONTINUING INVESTIGATION HAS REVEALED SEVERAL SAFETY PROBLEMS WHICH THE SAFETY BOARD BELIEVES WARRANT PROMPT CORRECTIVE ACTION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT UNTIL SUCH A SYSTEM CAN BE INSTALLED, THE PENN CENTRAL: SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURES TO REQUIRE EACH METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY TRAIN TO STOP AT "STOP-AND-PROCEED" SIGNALS AND TO OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE OPERATOR OR DISPATCHER BEFORE PROCEEDING.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable
Mode: Railroad
Location: New York, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 80013
Accident Reports: Collision of Two Penn Central Commuter Trains at Botanical Garden Station
Report #: RAR-75-08
Accident Date: 1/2/1975
Issue Date: 3/5/1975
Date Closed: 5/13/1986
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit
Date: 5/13/1986
Response: On April 10, 1975, the MTA informed the Safety Board of its plan for the installation of a cab signal - automatic speed control system on the Harlem and Hudson Lines and indicated at that time that funding assistance was being sought from both the New York State Legislature and the New York State Department of Transportation. The Board noted this intent to implement Safety Recommendation R-75-6 in its letter of November 9, 1977, and requested to be advised as to when the system would become operational. The MTA never responded to the Board's November 9, 1977 letter. Through staff contact with Metro-North, however, the Board has been informed that a cab signal - automatic speed control system is currently being installed on the Harlem and Hudson Lines and that installation of this system is to be completed in the near future. The Safety Board would appreciate being informed of the projected completion date for this system. Pending receipt of this information from Metro-North, Safety Recommendation R-75-6 will be held in an "Open-Acceptable Action" status. For the record, the Safety Board has placed Safety Recommendation R-75-7 in an "Closed-No Longer Applicable" status since the circumstances have obviously changed from the date the recommendation was issued.

From: Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit
To: NTSB
Date: 5/13/1986
Response: MTA'S RESPONSE OF APRIL 10, 1975 (ATTACHED) NTSB'S FOLLOWUP LETTER OF NOVEMBER 9, 1977 (ATTACHED)

From: NTSB
To: Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit
Date: 11/9/1977
Response: The cab signal - automatic speed control system is held in high regard by the Safety Board, and this plan is an acceptable response to our Safety Recommendations R-75-6 and 7 (Botanical Gardens accident, January 2, 1975). The Safety Board would appreciate further information on the status of the system and advice as to when the system will become operational.

From: Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit
To: NTSB
Date: 4/10/1975
Response: MTA LTR: MTA OFFERS REBUTTAL THAT OPERATORS/DISPATCHERS HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF CONDITIONS AT INTERMEDIATE AUTOMATIC BLOCK SIGNALS AND WOULD BE PLACED IN UNTENABLE POSITION OF ADVISING TRAINS TO PROCEED PAST A RED SIGNAL WITH NO KNOWLEDGE OF EXISTING CONDITIONS IN THE BLOCK AHEAD. ALSO, CONRAIL FREIGHT TRAINS AND AMTRAK TRAINS OPERATE OVER THE SAME ROUTE AS COMMUTER TRAINS; A RULE SUCH AS THE PROPOSED RECOMMENDATION WOULD ALSO HAVE TO BE APPLICABLE TO ALL OF THE TRAINS, COMMUTER, AMTRAK, AND FREIGHT. THERE ARE MANY LOCATIONS WHERE RADIO CONTACT IS LOST DUE TO TERRAIN AND TUNNELS. THE RECOMMENDATION DOES NOT PREVENT RUNNING BY A STOP-AND-PROCEED SIGNAL, HOWEVER, ON TRANSIT AUTHORITY TRAINS, THE TRIPPER SYSTEM FORCES THE MOTORMAN TO STOP. 12/13/77 - MTA LTR: REPLY DID NOT ADDRESS THE RECOMMENDATION BUT STATED THAT FUNDING HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND A CAB SIGNAL-AUTOMATIC SPEED CONTROL SYSTEM PROGRAM WILL COMMENCE IN THE SPRING 1978, AND DEPENDING ON FUNDING CONTINUANCE, THE ENTIRE SYSTEM WILL BE GOVERNED BY CAB SIGNAL-AUTOMATIC TRAIN STOP IN 1983.