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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-83-047
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 TO INCLUDE EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDANCE INFORMATION ON THE HAZARD GRAPH FOR TANK CARS CONTAINING RESIDUAL QUANTITIES OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS CLASSIFIED AS "EMPTY."
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: 9/22/1986
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: CSX Transportation, Inc. (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 9/22/1986
Response: The Safety Board is pleased to note that the new train consist system which was implemented to address the problem of identifying empty tank cars last clontaining a hazardous material became effective on January 7, 1986. The Board appreciates receiving copies of the documents that are now given to train crews as a result of this new system, which we believe should result in the prompt and accurate identification of hazardous materials involved in railroad accidents. Based on this positive effort to address the intent of the Board's recommendation, Safety Recommendation R-83-47 has now been placed in a "Glosed--Acceptable Action" status.

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 7/24/1986
Response: WE ARE NOW COMPLYING WITH YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS. A PROGRAM TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM OF IDENTIFYING EMPTY TANK CARS LAST CONTAINING A HAZARDOUS MATERIAL ON TRAIN CONSISTS AND GENE RATING EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDANCE FOR SUCH CARS WAS IMPLE MENTED ON 1/7/86. DOCUMENTS GIVEN TRAIN CREWS WHICH REFLECT REQUIRED INFORMATION ARE AS FOLLOWS: 1) TONNAGE (WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION) GRAPH, 2) SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS REPORT, 3) TRAIN SWITCH LIST, 4) HAZARDOUS MATERIAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDANCE INFORMATION.

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 2/18/1986
Response: The Safety Board notes that the anticipated implementation date for the conversion of SBD's train consisting system continues to be during or shortly after January 1986. While we note also that the SBD indicates that it is giving top priority to this project, because of the time that has elapsed since the issuance of this recommendation, Safety Recommendation R-83-47 will remain in its current status of "Open--Unacceptable Action" pending notification that the project has been completed.

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 10/25/1985
Response: RETRAINING CLASS ATTENDANCE REMAINS VOLUNTARY, EXCEPT WHERE DEFICIENCIES ARE NOTED, THEN THE ENGINEER IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND. APPROXIMATELY 2,150 ENGINE SERVICE EMPLOYEES WERE RETRAINED IN 1984 AND 1,395 IN 1985 (JANUARY THROUGH SEPTEMBER). FORTY-EIGHT OF THESE WERE REQUIRED TO ATTEND BECAUSE OF TRAIN HANDLING DEFICIENCIES. SIX OF THE 48 HAVE BEEN DISQUALIFIED FOR ROAD SERVICE. THOSE DISQUALIFIED MAY ATTEND TRAINING CLASSES, THAT ARE BEING CONDUCTED, AT THEIR CONVENIENCE AND EXPENSE IF THEY SO DESIRE. THEY ALSO ARE ALLOWED TO CUB LINE OF ROAD TRAINS WITH QUALIFIED ENGINEERS ACCOMPANIED BY THE ROAD FOREMAN OF ENGINES. TO REQUALIFY FOR ROAD SERVICE, THEY MUST DEMONSTRATE PROFICIENCY IN TRAIN HANDLING ON THE JOB. THOSE ENGINEERS DISQUALIFIED WILL REMAIN IN YARD SERVICE UNTIL THEY DO REQUALIFY.

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 9/3/1985
Response: The Safety Board notes that in the March 11, 1985, letter the anticipated implementation date for the conversion of SBD's train consisting system was April 1, 1985. Through staff contact in May 1985 the Board was informed that the conversion date had been delayed and that it was anticipated that the system would be converted on one division by June 1, 1985, and on the entire railroad by July 15, 1985. The Safety Board staff contacted the SBD again in July 1985 and was informed at that time that the project had been delayed further and that the anticipated implementation date for the entire system was sometime after January 1986. In view of the time that has elapsed since the issuance of this recommendation, the Safety Board is concerned that the SBD is not giving priority attention to this project and urges the SBD to expedite action to convert its train consisting system. Pending further response and an indication that the project is nearing completion, Safety Recommendation R-83-47 will be classified as "Open--Unacceptable Action."

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 3/11/1985
Response: SSR LTR: THE CONVERSION OF SBD'S TRAIN CONSISTING SYSTEM FROM TES TO CISS HAS BEEN DELAYED WITH A CURRENT ANTICIPATED IMPLEMENTATION DATE APRIL 1, 1985. ONCE THE CONVERSION IS COMPLETED, WE SHOULD GENERATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDANCE INFORMATION ON HAZARD GRAPHS FOR EMPTY TANK CARS LAST CONTAINING A HAZARDOUS MATERIAL.

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 1/11/1985
Response: The SBD’s conversion of its train consisting system to a system which will generate emergency response guidance information on hazard graphs for empty tank cars last containing hazardous materials is responsive to the intent of the recommendation. The Board would appreciate being informed when this conversion has been completed. In the meantime, Safety Recommendation R-83-47 will be held in an “Open--Acceptable Action” status.

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 7/24/1984
Response: SBD LETTER: SBD IS CONVERTING ITS TRAIN CONSISTING SYSTEM TO AN IBM SYSTEM KNOWN AS CUSTOMER INFORMATION CONTROL SYSTEM (CICS). WHEN THIS CONVERSION IS COMPLETED ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 1, 1985, SBD CAN GENERATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDANCE INFORMATION ON HAZARD GRAPHS FOR EMPTY TANK CARS LAST CONTAINING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN ISSUED TO FIELD PERSONNEL TO PROVIDE CONDUCTORS OF OUTBOUND TRAINS WITH A COPY OF THE AAR'S BUREAU OF EXPLOSIVES COMMODITY SPECIFIC RESPONSE AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAINMENT INFORMATION PRINTOUT FOR TANK CARS IN TRAINS THAT MAY CONTAIN RESIDUAL AMOUNTS OF HAZARDOUS MATERIAL. THESE INSTRUCTIONS HAVE ALSO BEEN INCORPORATED INTO SBD'S TELEPROCESSING PROCEDURES MANUAL.

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 4/30/1984
Response: The Safety Board notes that SCL is considering the intent of the recommendation by possibly assigning the appropriate STCC number to “empty” tank cars. This would result in emergency response guidance information being included on the hazard graph for tank cars containing residual quantities of hazardous materials classified as trempty,” since SCL’s guide information is presently computer-generated, based upon the assigned STCC identification number. While such action would satisfy the intent of the recommendation, the Board points out that the recommendation does not limit SCL to this one method. The Safety Board strongly urges SCL to take action, and pending further response, we will hold Safety Recommendation R-83-47 in an “Open-Acceptable Action” status .

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 7/22/1983
Response: SEABOARD SYSTEM RAILROAD LETTER: THIS RECOMMENDATION IS BEING GIVEN SERIOUS CONSIDERATION. AT THE PRESENT TIME, THE HAZARD GRAPH IS GENERATED BY OUR COMPUTERS FOR ALL LOADS ASSIGNED A STCC CODE WHICH INDICATES THAT THE COMMODITY IS A HAZARDOUS MATERIAL. THE STCC NUMBER IS NOT APPLIED TO EMPTY TANK CARS EVEN THOUGH SOME TANKS WILL CONTAIN RESIDUE OF THE LAST LOAD. THE EXPENSE OF CHANGING THE PROGRAM AS RECOMMENDED IS BEING DEVELOPED ALONG WITH AN EVALUATION OF THE BENEFITS, IT WOULD HAVE TO BE ADOPTED ON ALL RAILROADS. EVEN IF OUR PROGRAM IS CHANGED, WE WOULD ONLY BE ABLE TO ESTABLISH THE STCC NUMBER ON CARS THAT ORIGINATED ON OUR LINE.