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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-80-040
Details
Synopsis: ON FEBRUARY 12, 1980, TWO FREIGHT TRAINS OPERATED BY THE BALTIMORE AND OHIO RAILROAD COMPANY COLLIDED HEAD-ON AT ORLEANS ROAD, WEST VIRGINIA. EXTRA 6474 EAST WAS ON TRACK NO. 2 TRAVELING AT 38 MILES PER HOUR AS IT PASSED THE STOP-AND-STAY SIGNAL AT ORLEANS ROAD AND ENTERED A COMPOUND CURVE TO THE RIGHT, WHERE EXTRA 4367 WEST WAS APPROACHING AT A SPEED OF 32 MPH. THE FIREMAN OF EXTRA 4367 WEST WAS KILLED AND THE ENGINEER AND HEAD BRAKEMAN WERE INJURED; THE ENGINEER, CONDUCTOR, AND BRAKEMAN OF EXTRA 6474 EAST WERE INJURED. PROPERTY DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE $1,688,200.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE OHIO AND BALTIMORE RAILROAD COMPANY OF THE CHESSIE SYSTEM: ESTABLISH SUPERVISORY PROCEDURES AT CREW-CHANGE TERMINALS TO INSURE THAT ALL OPERATING DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES COMING ON DUTY AT ANY HOUR OF THE DAY ARE PHYSICALLY FIT AND CAPABLE OF COMPLYING WITH ALL PERTINENT OPERTING RULES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Orleans Road, WV, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79794
Accident Reports: Head On Collision of B & O Freight Trains Extra 6474 and Extra 4367 West
Report #: RAR-80-09
Accident Date: 2/12/1980
Issue Date: 9/24/1980
Date Closed: 10/28/1986
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: CSX Transportation, Inc. (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 10/16/1986
Response: The Safety Board notes that the Chessie System's ongoing efforts to expand and improve its programs to combat the use of alcohol and drugs by operating employees, in particular the employee assistance program and Operation Red Block. We also note that since the Federal alcohol rules have been implemented, the Chessie System has conducted seminars for its transportation officers to review the new rules and to improve an officer's ability to recognize individuals who are experiencing problems. Based on these ongoing efforts, the Board believes that the intent of Safety Recommendations R-80-40, R-83-60, R-83-36, and R-83-61 has been met, and, consequently, these recommendations have been placed in a "Closed-Acceptable Action" status. The Board looks forward to receiving the additional information regarding the results of efficiency testing conducted during 1984, 1985, and 1986.

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 10/1/1986
Response: Refer to my letter of September 8, 1986 responding to your letter of August 20, 1986 to Mr. J.T. Collinson. The results of continuing Rule G efficiency testing on Chessie System are:

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 9/8/1986
Response: This has reference to your letter of August 20, 1986 addressed to Mr. J.T. Collinson, Vice Chairman CSX Corporation, with respect to follow-up on an investigation made of an incident in Washington Terminal on February 14, 1983 involving a B&O engineer who arrived for duty in an unfit condition. As you are probably aware, our Company is presently involved in a reorganization with the Chessie System Transportation Group being relocated from Baltimore to Jacksonville, Florida. As a result of the transition presently going on our files are packed and in the process of being moved to Jacksonville. For this reason, we do not have access to them at this time to update the results of the efficiency testing on Chessie System for the years 1984 and 1985, and to date for 1986. However, just as soon as these files arrive in Jacksonville we will respond to this part of your inquiry. In reference to programs which have been implemented since inception of Federal Regulations involving Rule G, we have conducted one-day seminars for Transportation officers. During these sessions all aspects of Federal Regulation Rule G have been reviewed and a portion of the program has been devoted to drug and alcohol recognition. This training will help to improve an officer's ability to better recognize individuals who are experiencing problems. Attendance at these sessions has been mandatory. We began our drug and alcohol efforts in 1974 and have continued to expand and improve them. We feel that our employee assistance program ranks very high with those currently in operation on other major U.S. railroads. Operation Red Block has been implemented on Chessie Systems. The purpose of this program is to change the attitude among our train and engine crews against drinking or using drugs while subject to call or while on duty. Operation Red Block provides the mechanism which will enable crew members to mark off an impaired co-worker rather than allow an individual to work in that condition. We have consistently expanded and upgraded the program since its inception and believe our success with this effort has been exceptionally good.

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 9/6/1984
Response: Recommendations R-80-40 and R-83-60 were addressed in our August 15, 1983 letter wherein we explained that we have extensively checked our employees for compliance of Rule G in the past and plan to continue to do so in the future. The following report for the number of rule G efficiency tests conducted for the years 1980 through June 1984 clearly shows our efforts in this area: These checks are made at both on duty locations and various other locations where employees are performing their duties. In connection with this program, we are making frequent checks at locations other than major terminals with efficiency test teams comprised of two or more officers in order to assure that crews are monitored for fitness for duty at all locations at all hours.

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 7/5/1984
Response: Even though the Safety Board recognizes that it is not feasible to have crews monitored for fitness for duty at all locations at all hours, we do believe that this practice should be implemented at all major terminals and more frequent checks should be carried out at other locations. This increase is especially critical for night operations and at remote locations where supervisory personnel are not stationed on a routine basis. Pending further response, the Safety Board will hold Safety Recommendations R-80-40 and R-83-60 in an "Open-Acceptable Action" status.

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 8/15/1983
Response: As our response clearly indicates, the Chessie System is concerned about compliance with Rule G. We have extensively checked our employees for compliance in the past and plan to continue to do so in the future. We take various forma of action when a failure is discovered. We view Rule G in the broader context of drinking by our train and engine employees. A segment of these employees, as is true of the population at large, have an alcohol problem. We offer an Alcohol Rehabilitation Program in recognition of this situation and as a way of increasing the possibility that such employees will be able to overcome their problems and operate in a safe, sober manner. Your repeated grouping of the February 14 Washington Terminal incident with the catastrophic derailments at Livingston, Louisiana and Newport (Glaise Junction), Arkansas troubles me. The incident on February 14 was a serious one, and we handled it as such dismissing the engineer involved. However, there are errors in the account of the incident which you gave which cause the incident to appear even more serious that it actually was. For instance, the conductor which the railroad official stopped was one assigned to another train. In fact, due to an unusual change in procedure, the engineer reported to work at a different location on February 14 than his conductor and the two of them had not yet compared time and orders. To cite what might have happened when they did so would be sheer speculation, but the fact of the matter is that the conductor had not yet seen the engineer since they went on duty. There are aspects of the system which worked on February 14. The engineer did not run the train. We appreciate the fact that a railroader employed by another company was involved. His presence there was not to be presumed upon, any more than that of your employees. While we acknowledge the seriousness of the situation, we also point out that the avoidance of any incident also rendered this as an unreportable event to NTSB.

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 4/6/1983
Response: Due to our investigation of the incident at the Washington, D.C., Union Station involving the removal of an engineer from his post because of his state of intoxication, we will comment on this recommendation and response under separate cover.

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 12/31/1981
Response: On September 24, 1980, the National Transportation Safety Board issued Safety Recommendations R-80-39 and -40 to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company (B&O) of the Chessie System as a result of a head-on collision between two B7O freight trains at Orleans Road, West Virginia, on February 12, 1980. Reference is also made to Safety Recommendations R-81-70 through -73 resulting from the investigation of a head-on collision between two B&O freight trains near Germantown, Maryland, on February 9, 1981. In reviewing our files of these recommendations, we found no record that a response had been received. For your convenience in identifying them, we have enclosed the relevant letter of recommendation and a copy of the report on our investigation of the Orleans Road collision. In order to update our files of the recommendations, we would appreciate learning what actions the B&O has taken to implement them. They are presently in an open status and will remain so pending your reply.