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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-83-108
Details
Synopsis: ON APRIL 3, 1983, AMTRAK PASSENGER TRAIN NO. 820 (THE CRESCENT), EN ROUTE FROM NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., WITH 331 PASSENGERS AND 18 CREWMEMBERS ABOARD, DERAILED WHEN IT STRUCK A LANDSLIDE NEAR ROCKFISH, VIRGINIA, ON SOUTHERN RAILWAY SYSTEM (SR) TRACK ABOUT 23 MILES SOUTH OF CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA. HEAVY RAINS IN THE AREA PRECEDED THE LANDSLIDE. THE TRACK HAD BEEN INSPECTED 6 HOURS BEFORE THE ACCIDENT. THE TRAIN WAS MOVING ABOUT 48 MPH AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. THERE WAS NO TRAIN ORDER IN EFFECT FOR REDUCED SPEED IN THE AREA OF THE DERAILMENT. TWENTY-FOUR PERSONS WERE INJURED, AND DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE $232,000.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS: INFORM ITS MEMBERS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE AMTRAK DERAILMENT AT ROCKFISH, VIRGINIA, ON APRIL 3, 1983, AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO REVIEW AND REVISE AS NECESSARY THEIR PROCEDURES FOR TRAIN ORDERS RELATED TO WEATHER CONDITIONS TO PRESCRIBE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH THE TRAIN ORDERS SHOULD BE ISSUED, AND SPECIFIC ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY CREWMEMBERS SO THAT THE RISK OF OPERATING HAZARDS CAUSED BY WEATHER WILL BE MINIMIZED.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Rockfish, VA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA83AR005
Accident Reports: Derailment of Amtrak Train No. 820 (The Crescent) of Southern Railway System Track
Report #: RAR-83-10
Accident Date: 4/3/1983
Issue Date: 1/4/1984
Date Closed: 4/20/1984
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Association of American Railroads (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Association of American Railroads
Date: 4/20/1984
Response: The Safety Board accepts the February 15, 1984, letter signed by Mr. Johnston as responsive in urging chief operating officers of all AAR member companies to consider the recommendations and institute the necessary actions in their systems. Based on this information, we have placed Safety Recommendations R-83-108 and -109 in a "Closed-Acceptable Action" status.

From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 2/14/1984
Response: AAR LETTER: ATTACHED IS A CIRCULAR WHICH VICE PRESIDENT A.W JOHNSTON HAS DISTRIBUTED TO CHIEF OPERATING OFFICERS OF AAR MEMBER ROADS. I AM CONFIDENT THAT THEY WILL CONSIDER YOUR SUGGESTIONS AND INITIATE ACTION IS THOSE AREAS WHERE ABNORMAL WEATHER CONDITIONS MAY ADVERSELY AFFECT TRAIN MOVEMENTS. JOHNSTON'S LETTER DATED 2/15/84: A COPY OF THE NTSB LETTER IS ATTACHED AND I AM SURE THAT EACH OF YOU WILL INSTITUTE THE NECESSARY ACTION IN THOSE AREAS OF YOUR SYSTEM WHERE SIMILAR PROBLEMS MAY ARISE.