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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-85-022
Details
Synopsis: AT 9:30 A.M. ON APRIL 10, 1984, 18 CARS OF EASTBOUND SEABOARD SYSTEM RAILROAD FREIGHT TRAIN FERHL DERAILED AT MARSHVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, FOLLOWING THE FAILURE OF A FREIGHT CAR AXLE JOURNAL AS A RESULT OF THE JOURNAL OVERHEATING. TWO OF THE FOUR DERAILED TANK CARS LOADED WITH METHANOL, A FLAMMABLE LIQUID, WERE BREACHED DURING THE DERAILMENT, AND THE RELEASED METHANOL WAS IGNITED. THREE BUILDINGS AND FOUR AUTOMOBILES WERE DESTROYED BY THE FIRE. AN ESTIMATED 2,100 PERSONS WITHIN A 1-MILE RADIUS OF THE ACCIDENT SITE WERE EVACUATED, U.S. HIGHWAY 74 WAS CLOSED, AND THE FIRE WAS ALLOWED TO BURN UNTIL IT SUBSIDED AT 10 P.M. ON THE DAY OF THE ACCIDENT. ONE PERSON RECEIVED A MINOR INJURY DURING THE EVACUATION. DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE $1,383,000.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE SEABOARD SYSTEM RAILROAD: IMMEDIATELY INSTITUTE A PROGRAM THAT REQUIRES THAT EACH TRAINCREW MEMBER IS MONITORED PERIODICALLY ON EVERY APPLICABLE OPERATIONAL TEST.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable
Mode: Railroad
Location: Marshville, NC, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA84AZ005
Accident Reports: Seaboard System Railroad Freight Train Ferhl Derailment and Fire
Report #: RAR-85-05
Accident Date: 4/10/1984
Issue Date: 5/24/1985
Date Closed: 10/24/1994
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: CSX Transportation, Inc. (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 10/24/1994
Response: THE BOARD IS AWARE THAT THE SBS WAS MERGED INTO CSX TRANSPORTATION IN 1986, AND THE THE PROGRAM MENTIONED IN THE RECOMMENDATION WAS INCORPORATED INTO CSX'S TRAINING & TESTING PROGRAMS. BECAUSE THE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT THAT PROMPTED THIS RECOMMENDATION DOES NOT EXIST ON CSX, & BECAUSE OF CSX'S COMPERHENSIVE OPERATIONAL TESTING PROGRAM, THE BOARD HAS CLASSIFIED R-85-22 "CLOSED NO LONGER APPLICABLE."

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 7/31/1992
Response:

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 9/3/1985
Response: The Safety Board notes that the SBD recently has implemented a revised Efficiency Tests and Observations Program with an emphasis on conducting a variety of tests and observations at various hours of the day and night including weekends and holidays. The Board notes further that a seniority roster will be maintained to reflect the overall performance of individual employees being tested or observed and this roster will be reviewed to safeguard against a few employees receiving all the tests while other employees are not being tested or observed. While the Board believes that the revised program is an improvement over past practices, the Board remains concerned that, even with the new program, there is no indication that employees will be monitored periodically on all applicable rules. The Safety Board would appreciate being informed of the SBD's plans to meet the full intent of the recommendation. The SBD indicates that preparations are being made to computerize the reporting of tests and observations. The Board believes that this should enable the SBD to obtain useful data on the number of tests and observations made on each employee and consequently, that the SBD can take steps to assure each crewmember is being tested on all applicable rules. Pending further response to the Safety Board's concerns, Safety Recommendation R-85-22 will be held in an "Open-Acceptable Action" status.

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 6/21/1985
Response: SEABOARD SYSTEM RAILROAD LTR: THE EFFICIENCY TEST AND OBSERVATIONS PROGRAM THAT WAS IN EFFECT ON OUR RAILROAD AT THE TIME OF THE INCIDENT AT MARSHVILLE IS NO LONGER IN USE. IT HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY THE ENCLOSED SEABOARD SYSTEM RAILROAD'S EFFICIENCY TESTS AND OBSERVATIONS PROGRAM THAT WAS PLACED IN EFFECT ON MAY 1, 1984, THREE WEEKS AFTER THE INCIDENT AT MARSHVILLE. BETWEEN MAY 1, 1984, AND MAY 1, 1985, 310,427 TESTS AND OBSERVATIONS WERE MADE ON OUR RAILROAD. AT THE PRESENT TIME, THE REPORTING OF THESE TESTS AND OBSERVATIONS IS NOT COMPUTERIZED; HOWEVER, WE ARE MAKING PREPARATIONS TO HAVE THIS DONE, HOPEFULLY BY THE END OF THIS YEAR. COMPUTERIZATION WILL ENABLE US TO MORE EFFECTIVELY MONITOR THE PROGRAM. ALSO ENCLOSED ARE COPIES OF OUR LATEST OPERATING RULES AND SAFETY RULES FOR TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, BOTH OF WHICH WERE PLACED IN EFFECT SINCE THE MARSHVILLE INCIDENT, AND A COPY OF THE INSTRUCTOR'S MANUAL FOR THE 1985 CRAFT SAFETY AND OPERATING RULES CLASS FOR TRAIN AND ENGINE SERVICE EMPLOYEES.