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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-83-046
Details
Synopsis: ON MAY 31, 1982, NORTHBOUND SEABOARD COAST LINE (SCL) FREIGHT TRAIN NO. 120 DERAILED AT THE SWIFT CREEK BRIDGE IN COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VIRGINIA, FOLLOWING A HARD RUN IN OF SLACK WHICH OCCURRED WHEN THE TRAIN TRANSITED A CHANGE IN GRADES. THE TRAIN WAS CLASSIFIED AS RESTRICTED BY SCL TIMETABLE DESIGNATION WITH A MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED SPEED OF 50 MPH. THE ENGINEER STATED THE TRAIN SPEED WAS 45 MPH AT THE TIME OF DERAILMENT; HOWEVER, TESTS CONDUCTED FOLLOWING THE ACCIDENT INDICATE THAT THE TRAIN SPEED WAS 64 MPH WHEN THE TRAIN DERAILED. CARS NO. 89 THROUGH NO. 118 DERAILED. A TANK CAR WAS BREACHED IN THE DERAILMENT, AND ITS CONTENTS WERE RELEASED AND IMMEDIATELY IGNITED. NO CREWMEBERS WERE INJURED AS A RESULT OF THE ACCIDENT, BUT 12 FIREFIGHTERS AND A STATE EMERGENCY OFFICIAL COLLAPSED DURING FIREFIGHTING OPERATIONS. ERRONEOUS AND CONFLICTING INFORMATION CONCERNING HAZARDOUS MATERIAL ON THE TRAIN CAUSED CONFUSION AND MISDIRECTED EMERGENCY RESPONSE EFFORTS.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE SEABOARD SYSTEM RAILROAD: REVISE PRACTICES FOR DEVELOPING WAYBILLS TO REQUIRE USE OF THE HAZARDOUS MATERIAL SHIPPING DESCRIPTION PROVIDED BY SHIPPERS UNLESS A CHANGE IS APPROVED BY THE PERSONS(S) ORIGINALLY SELECTING THE SHIPPING DESCRIPTION.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Colonial Heights, VA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA82AR013
Accident Reports: Derailment of Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Train No. 120
Report #: RAR-83-04
Accident Date: 5/31/1982
Issue Date: 5/24/1983
Date Closed: 1/11/1985
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: CSX Transportation, Inc. (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 1/11/1985
Response: The Board notes that the SBD’s regional supervisor has followed up with the local director of rati.ng and billing for the SBD to insure that repetitive waybill coding profiles, indicating the correct description, are used. Based on this .action and on SBD’s previous assurances that its standing practices require use of the hazardous material shipping description provided by shippers, Safety Recommendation R-83-46 has been placed in a “Closed-Acceptable Action” status.

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 7/24/1984
Response: SBD LETTER: WITH REGARD TO SPECIFIC HANDLING OF INCORRECT COMMODITY DESCRIPTIONS SHOWN ON WAYBILLS FOR CARS BILLED AT ORANGEBURG, SOUTH CAROLINA, THE REGIONAL SUPERVISOR FOLLOWED UP WITH LOCAL AGENCY FORCES TO INSURE THAT REPETITIVE WAYBILL CODING ("RWC") PROFILES INDICATING THE CORRECT DESCRIPTION ARE USED. ALSO, RWC PROFILES FOR SHIPMENTS OF COMMODITIES INVOLVED IN THE DERAILMENT HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO REFLECT THE COMPLETE AND CORRECT DESCRIPTION OF THE COMMODITY AS TENDERED BY ETHYL CORPORATION. COPIES OF CORRESPONDENCE REGARDING HANDLING OF THIS MATTER AND COPIES OF RWC PROFILES ARE ATTACHED (EXHIBIT A) WHICH REFLECT THE CORRECT DESCRIPTION OF COMMODITIES.

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 4/30/1984
Response: The Safety Board notes that SCL indicates its present practice of developing waybill information is consistent with the intent of the recommendation, even though in this particular case a revision occurred as a result of oversight. SCL further indicates that corrective action has been taken to prevent a recurrence of this type of oversight. The Safety Board would appreciate knowing what specific action was taken and how it was implemented. Pending further response, we will hold Safety Recommendation R-83-46 in an “Open-Acceptable Action” status.

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 7/22/1983
Response: SEABOARD SYSTEM RAILROAD LETTER: OUR PRESENT PRACTICE IS CONSISTENT WITH THE RECOMMENDATION. THUS, IT IS NOT OUR PRACTICE TO ALTER THE SHIPPING DESCRIPTIONS PROVIDED ON THE BILLS OF LADING. IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, THE REVISION OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF AN OVERSIGHT. APPROPRIATE CORRECTIVE ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN TO PREVENT A RECURRENCE.