Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-81-055
Details
Synopsis: ON NOVEMBER 7, 1980, CONRAIL FREIGHT TRAIN OPSE-7 STRUCK THE HEAD END OF AMTRAK TRAIN NO. 74 WHILE IT WAS STANDING ON TRACK NO. 2 AT DOBBS FERRY, NEW YORK. THE LEAD LOCOMOTIVE UNIT OF TRAIN OPSE-7 OVERRODE AND DESTROYED THE OPERATING CAB OF THE POWER CAR OF TRAIN NO. 74. OF THE ESTIMATED 234 PERSONS ABOARD THE TRAINS, 75 PASSENGERS AND 9 CREWMEMBERS WERE INJURED. DAMAGE TO THE EQUIPMENT WAS ESTIMATED AT $915,000.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL): REQUIRE THAT ALL TRAINS OPERATING ON THE MAIN LINE MONITOR THE SAME CHANNEL AS DESIGNED IN THE TIMETABLE.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Dobbs Ferry, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA81AR007
Accident Reports: Head End Collision of Amtrak Passenger Train No. 74 and Conrail Train OPSE-7
Report #: RAR-81-04
Accident Date: 11/7/1980
Issue Date: 5/18/1981
Date Closed: 11/12/1982
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Conrail (Consolidated Rail Corporation) (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Conrail (Consolidated Rail Corporation)
Date: 11/12/1982
Response: We are pleased to learn that the problem of not displaying a train order signal at all train order stations has been corrected. ion presented. Based on information presented, we have classified R-81-56 as “Closed-Acceptable Action.”

From: Conrail (Consolidated Rail Corporation)
To: NTSB
Date: 1/8/1982
Response: CONSOLIDATED RAIL LETTER: BY BULLETIN ORDER ISSUED DECEMBER 2, 1981, WHICH WILL BE INCORPORATED IN FUTURE OPERATING TIMETABLES, THE METROPOLITAN REGION HAS PROMULGATED INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE USE OF SPECIFIC RADIO FREQUENCIES IN THE TERRITORY INVOLVED. IN OUR OPINION, THIS ALSO CONSTITUTES COMPLIANCE WITH GOVERNING FEDERAL REGULATIONS.

From: NTSB
To: Conrail (Consolidated Rail Corporation)
Date: 10/13/1981
Response: The Board agrees with your comments concerning trains relying on overhead radio communication intended for another train or base station to establish meeting points; however, a radio may be used to convey train location and other data, particularly emergency data, from train to train. The Board is concerned that although these trains had operating radios, they were not in compliance with Conrail's own timetable special instructions or Federal regulations related to their use. The inability to communicate with each other increases the probability that accidents such as this will continue to occur. We urge Conrail to reconsider Recommendation R-81-55 which will be held in an “Open--Unacceptable Actiontl status pending further response. ‘trains relying on overheard radio establish meeting points; d other data, particularly that although these trains ills own timetable special inability to communicate ch as this will continue to 1-55 which will be held in an

From: Conrail (Consolidated Rail Corporation)
To: NTSB
Date: 7/1/1981
Response: CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION LTR: FROM A PRACTICAL VIEW POINT, IT IS NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE THAT ALL TRAINS OPERATING ON THE MAIN LINE MONITOR THE SAME CHANNEL AS DESIGNED IN THE TIMETABLE, AS MORE THAN ONE CHANNEL IS USED IN CERTAIN AREAS. MOREOVER, WE FEEL THAT IT IS IMPROPER TO PERMIT OPERATIONAL SAFETY TO RELY UPON THE POSSIBILITY THAT ONE TRAIN WILL OVER-HEAR RADIO COMMUNICATION INTENDED FOR ANOTHER TRAIN OR BASE STATION. FOR THIS REASON, WE FEEL THAT IS PREFERABLE TO BUILD OPERATING RULES WHICH INSURE SAFETY, WITHOUT RELIANCE UPON OVERHEARD RADIO COMMUNICATIONS.