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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-75-015
Details
Synopsis: ON MAY 8, 1974, PENN CENTRAL FREIGHT TRAIN OV-8 COLLIDED WITH COUNTERWEIGHT OF A LIFT-SPAN DRAWBRIDGE ON THE CUYAHOGA RIVER AT CLEVELAND, OHIO. SHORTLY BEFORE THE COLLISION, THE EASTBOUND TRAIN HAD BEEN TRAVELING AT 33 MPH ON A MAIN TRACK EQUIPPED WITH AUTOMATICBLOCK SIGNALS WHEN THE DB OPERATOR CONTACTED THE TRAINCREW AND ADVISED THEM THAT THE ROUTE WAS CLEAR AHEAD. THEN, THE OPERATOR REMEMBERED THAT A BOAT HAD BEEN AWAITING PASSAGE AND, WITHOUT INFORMING THE TRAINCREW, HE OPENED THE BRIDGE. THE TRAIN PASSED THE RED HOME SIGNAL OF THE DB INTERLOCKING WITHOUT BRAKING AND STRUCK THE COUNTERWEIGHT OF THE OPEN BRIDGE ABOUT 600 FEET BEYOND THE SIGNAL. THE TWO CREWMEMBERS IN THE LEAD LOCOMOTIVE UNIT DIED AS A RESULT OF CRASH INJURIES. THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD DETERMINES THAT THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF THIS ACCIDENT WAS THE FAILURE OF THE LOCOMOTIVE CREWMEMBERS TO OBEY A WAYSIDE SIGNAL INDICATION TOSTOP AND THE CONCURRENT OPENING OF THE DRAWBRIDGE BY THE DB OPERATORAFTER HE HAD ADVISED THE ONCOMING TRAINCREW BY RADIO THAT THE ROUTE WAS CLEAR. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE ABSENCE OF SPECIFIC RULES THAT EITHER PROHIBITED SUCH A RADIO MESSAGE OR DESCRIBED THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH SUCH A RADIO TRANSMITTAL COULD BE ACCEPTEDAS AN OPERATIONAL CONTROL.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: ISSUE REGULATIONS TO REQUIRE THAT RAILROADS INSTITUTE FORMAL LOCOMOTIVE CAB MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES WHICH WILL SPECIFY THE DUTIES OF EACH CREWMEMBER AND TO INSURE APPROPRIATE CREW ACTION WHEN THE ENGINEER DOES NOT FUNCTION IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH THE SAFETY OF THE TRAIN. THESE PROCEDURES SHOULD BE INTEGRATED WITH THE RESULTS OF THE ONGOING FRA/INDUSTRY LOCOMOTIVE-CAB DESIGN PROJECT.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Cleveland, OH, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79812
Accident Reports: Collision of Penn Central Freight Train OV-8 with an Open Drawbridge
Report #: RAR-75-03
Accident Date: 5/8/1974
Issue Date: 3/26/1975
Date Closed: 2/2/1978
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/31/1975
Response: LTR., FROM FRA TO THE CHAIRMAN: THE OPERATING RULES ADVISORY COMMITTEE HAS APPROVED A REVISED REVISION OF RULES 34 AND RECOMMENDED THAT FRA FORWARD THE DRAFT TO THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS AND THE AMERICAN SHORT LINE RAILROAD ASSOCIATION ASKING THAT THEY SOLICIT COMMENTS FROM THEIR MEMBERSHIP AND ADVISE. MARCH 30, 1976 FRA PUBLISHED NPRM IN FEDERAL REGISTER ADDRESSING RULE 34. JANUARY 27, 1977 FRA TERMINATED ACTION TO ISSUE A FINAL RULE FOLLOWING ACTION BY AAR AND MAJOR CARRIERS OF ADOPTING THE REVISED RULE 34. THE REVISED RULE INCORPORATES THE SPECIFICS OF THE RECOMMENDATION AND IS A PART OF THE AAR STANDARD CODE OF OPERATING RULES AS WELL AS OPERATING RULES OF VARIOUS CARRIERS.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 5/7/1975
Response: From the railroad accident report of the collision of St. Louis-San Francisco Railway trains 3210 and 3211 in Mustang, Oklahoma on September 1, 1974. The Board adopted this report on 5/7/1975.The Safety Board reiterated and emphasizes the importance of the following recommendations made in previous accident reports which have not been implemented and are applicable to this accident: R-72-9 and R-75-15.