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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-75-037
Details
Synopsis: AT ABOUT 8:19 A.M., ON JANUARY 2, 1975, PENN CENTRAL COMMUTER NO. 528 PASSED A "STOP-AND-PROCEED" SIGNAL WITHOUT STOPPING AND COLLIDED WITH THE REAR END OF COMMUTER TRAIN 526 AT BOTANICAL GARDENSTATION IN NEW YORK CITY. FOUR CARS OF TRAIN 526 WERE DERAILED; HOWEVER, DAMAGE TO CARS OF BOTH TRAINS WAS MINIMAL. TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIVE PASSENGERS AND EMPLOYEES WERE INJURED. THREE OF THE INJURED PERSONS WERE ADMITTED TO THE HOSPITAL AND THE OTHERS WERE TREATED AND RELEASED. THERE WERE 34 FRACTURES, 75 WHIPLASH INJURIES,51 NOSE LACERATIONS, AND MANY OTHER FACIAL LACERATIONS. THE TRAINS WERE THOSE OF THE METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (MTA), WHICHWERE BEING OPERATED BY THE PENN CENTRAL UNDER CONTRACT.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: PROMULGATE REGULATIONS TO ESTABLISH MIMIMUM PHYSICAL STANDARDS AND REQUIRE PERIODIC PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONSS OF ALL CREWMEMBERS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MOVEMENT OF TRAINS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
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: 8/7/1975
Date Closed: 2/4/1985
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 2/4/1985
Response: The 1979 survey showing that the preponderance of major railroads have adequate physical qualification programs and that individual railroads in general do not require annual or biannual physicals has been accepted as an alternate action in place of federally required periodic physicals. We have classified Safety Recommendation R-75-37 as "Closed-Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/14/1982
Response: FRA LETTER: IN 1979, FRA CONDUCTED A SURVEY OF THE EMPLOYEE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION PROGRAMS ON 49 MAJOR RAILROADS. ALL OF THE RAILROADS SURVEYED HAD ADEQUATE PHYSICAL QUALIFICATION PROGRAMS AND MANY OF THEM REQUIRE ANNUAL OR BIANNUAL PHYSICALS FOR OPERATING PERSONNEL. FRA DOES NOT PLAN TO ISSUE REGULATIONS TO ESTABLISH MINIMUM PHYSICAL STANDARDS FOR OPERATING PERSONNEL SINCE THE ACCIDENT DATA REFLECTS THAT TRAIN ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY DOCUMENTED PHYSICAL FAILURE ARE RELATIVELY RARE.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 11/2/1977
Response: The Safety Board has received no substantive advice of the RORAC discussion and it is our understanding that the committee has been dissolved. We call this to your attention and ask that you advise us as to the action the Federal Railroad Administration has taken toward implementation. A copy of the Recommendation is enclosed for your convenience.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/5/1975
Response: LTR, FROM FRA TO THE CHAIRMAN "THE QUESTION OF MINIMUM PHYSICA STANDARDS AND PERIODIC PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS OF ALL CREWMEMBERS IS PRESENTLY UNDER DISCUSSION BY THE RAILROAD OPERATING RULES ADVISORY COMMITTEE". AUGUST 12, 1977 FRA PLACED THE QUESTION OF MINIMUM PHYSICAL STANDARDS AND PERIODIC EXAMINATIONS OF ALL CREW MEMBERS WITH THE RAILROAD OPERATING RULES ADVISORY COMMITTEE (RORAC). FOLLOWING CONSIDERABLE DISCUSSION, RORAC CONCLUDED THAT THE SUBJECT MATTER WAS NOT PERTINENT TO THE AREA OF OPERATING RULES. RORAC DISSOLVED IN OCTOBER, 1976, WITH THE SUBJECT OF MINIMUM PHYSICAL STANDARDS AND PERIODIC EXAMINATIONS OF CREW MEMBER TABLED. OCTOBER 27, 1977 DISCUSSED AT NTSB/FRA MEETING. FRA ADVISED THEY WILL RESPOND FURTHER. NTSB AGREED TO HOLD OPEN PENDING RESPONSE. FEBRUARY 8, 1978 RESPONSE FROM FRA: "....FRA IS AWARE THAT IN SOME INSTANCES CARRIERS HAVE FAILED TO ENFORCE THEIR OWN STANDARDS. HOWEVER, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS IS A PREVALENT PRACTICE IN THE INDUSTRY. THE OCCURANCE OF TRAIN ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY DOCUMENTED PHYSICAL FAILURE ON THE PART OF THE OPERATING TRAIN CREW IS RELATIVELY RARE. IN KEEPING WITH THE PRESIDENT'S AND SECRETARY'S POLICIES TO ELIMINATE PROMULGATION OF UNJUSTIFIABLE FEDERAL REGULATIONS, THE FRA DOES NOT PRESENTLY HAVE DATA WHICH WOULD JUSTIFY ESTABLISHMENT OF MINIMUM FEDERAL PHYSICAL STANDARDS FOR ALL CREW MEMBERS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MOVEMENT OF TRAINS AND, THEREFORE, CANNOT JUSTIFY SUCH A REGULATION."