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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-81-057
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 NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION (AMTRAK): ESTABLISH A RETROFIT SCHEDULE TO PROVIDE SKIRTS AT THE BOTTOM OF SEATS TO PREVENT LEG INJURIES BECAUSE OF LEG ENTRAPMENT.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable 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: 6/13/1983
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
Date: 6/13/1983
Response: Amtrak’s response provided no new evidence to support its belief that locking devices on rotating seats will provide the sameprotection as seat bottom skirts to minimize leg injuries. We cannot agree with your agency's rationale for not implementing this recommendation, but we have no evidence beyond that provided in our report; therefore, we have classified Safety Recommendation R-81-57 as "Closed--Unacceptable Action.” The Safety Board will continue to stress this safety issue in future pertinent accident investigations and studies.

From: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
To: NTSB
Date: 6/22/1982
Response: NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION LETTER: IN REGARD TO RECOMMENDATION R-81-57, RETROFITTING SEATS TO PROVIDE A SKIRT FOR PROTECTION AT THE BOTTOM, AMTRAK HAS AGAIN REVIEWED THIS RECOMMENDATION AND WE STRONGLY FEEL THAT THIS SUGGESTION IS NOT A PROPER SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM. WE STILL FEEL THAT LOCKING DEVICES ON ROTATING SEATS WILL MINIMIZE LEG INJURIES.

From: NTSB
To: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
Date: 4/7/1982
Response: Roccnnmendation R-81-57 asked Amtrak to estab a retrofit schdule to provide skirts at the bottom of seats to prevent 1 injuries caused by leg entrapment. This reccxnmendation deals with prwe leg entrapment, not preventing leg injuries when seats rotate. The %d Safety/Equipment Crashwor-thiness study conducted by the Federal Railroad A&a ‘nistration concluded that a fi skirt can eliminate the possibility of seated occup+nts' legs becoming wedqed under a seat or equipment in front of them during a~severe accident. The design considered in the report involved a skirt from the bottom of the seat cushion to the floor which could allow no more than a person'sl,feet to extend under the skirt, and which was angled forward sufficiently maximum leg room and provide clearance for cleaning the floor. The requests that Amtrak review its -position on R-81-57. In the interim it classified in an "Open--Unacceptable Action" status.

From: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
To: NTSB
Date: 8/3/1981
Response: NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION LTR: AMTRAK HAS REVIEWED THIS RECOMMENDATION AND BELIEVES IT IS IMPRACTICAL. FOR OPERATIONAL REASONS, SEATS MUST BE CAPABLE OF ROTATION. FOR THEIR COMFORT, PASSENGERS USE THE SPACE BELOW THE SEAT BASE TO STRETCH THEIR LEGS. PROVIDING A SKIRT WOULD PREVENT AMTRAK FROM PROPERLY CLEANING THE FLOORS OF THE CARS UNDER THE SEATS. IT IS OUR BELIEF THAT LEG INJURIES WOULD BEST BE MINIMIZED BY INSTALLING LOCKING DEVICES ON ROTATING SEATS TO PREVENT THEIR UNDESIRED ROTATION.