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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-85-085
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 10:45 A.M. ON JULY 23, 1984, NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION (AMTRAK) TRAINS NOS. 151 AND 168 COLLIDED HEAD-ON ON AMTRAK'S HELL GATE LINE IN THE ASTORIA SECTION OF QUEENS, NEW YORK, NEW YORK. TRAIN NO. 151 WAS BEING OPERATED BY TRAIN ORDER AUTHORITY WESTBOUND ON THE NO. 2 MAIN TRACK BETWEEN MARKET INTERLOCKING AND THE EAST END OF GATE INTERLOCKING. TRAIN NO. 168 WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN STOPPED AND HELD AT THE HOME SIGNAL ON THE NO. 2 TRACK AT THE WEST END OF GATE INTERLOCKING FOR THE ARRIVAL OF TRAIN NO. 151. HOWEVER, TRAIN NO. 168 DID NOT STOP AT THE HOME SIGNAL BUT CONTINUED PAST GATE INTERLOCKING. THE TWO TRAINS COLLIDED ABOUT 1.1 MILES EAST OF GATE INTERLOCKING. ONE PASSENGER WAS KILLED; 129 PASSENGERS, 8 AMTRAK OPERATING CREWMEMBERS, AND 3 AMTRAK SERVICE ATTENDANTS WERE INJURED. PROPERTY DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED BY AMTRAK TO HAVE BEEN $3,199,000.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAIL ROADS: ALLOCATE TO THE NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION AN EXCLUSIVE RADIO CHANNEL FOR ITS OPERATIONAL USE IN THE NEW YORK AREA.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable
Mode: Railroad
Location: New York, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA84AR014
Accident Reports: Head On Collision of National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) Passenger Trains Nos. 151 and 168
Report #: RAR-85-09
Accident Date: 7/23/1984
Issue Date: 8/5/1985
Date Closed: 9/22/1987
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Association of American Railroads (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 9/22/1987
Response: NO RESPONSE--FOLLOWUP LETTER.

From: NTSB
To: Association of American Railroads
Date: 9/22/1987
Response: In our letter of January 24, 1986, the Board noted that AAR's action was cont ingent upon Amtrak's request for a frequency assignment. In April 1986, Amtrak informed the Safety Board that it had an assignment of a radio channel for use at the Sunnyside Yard. In view of the number of transmissions that originate from the Sunnyside Yard, the Board, in a subsequent letter to Amtrak, stated that it believed this action would reduce the number of transmissions on the radio channel for mainline operations and, consequently, improve the radio communication capability. In view of Amtrak's efforts to correct the situation without the need for action on the part of the AAR, the Board has assigned the status of "Closed--No Longer Applicable" to Safety Recommendation R-85-85.

From: NTSB
To: Association of American Railroads
Date: 1/24/1986
Response: The Safety Board is aware of the procedures that railroads are to follow to obtain radio channels. In this regard, the Board points out that we issued simultaneously a recommendation to Amtrak to apply for an exclusive radio channel for operational use in the New York area. Amtrak indicated in its response to the Board's recommendation that it agreed that the radio channel in the New York area for train operations at times suffers from congestion and that it is exploring the possibility of providing a separate radio channel for the New York Sunnyside Yard operation. Since the AAR's action is contingent upon Amtrak's request for a frequency assignment, Safety Recommendation R-85- 85 will be held in an "Open--Acceptable Action" status, pending further indication from Amtrak of its intentions. Your efforts to respond to our Safety Recommendations are appreciated.

From: Association of American Railroads
To: NTSB
Date: 10/2/1985
Response: AS INFORMATION , THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS DOES NOT ALLOCATE RADIO CHANNELS TO RAILROADS. THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION AUTHORIZES THE ALLOCATION OF RADIO CHANNELS. THE AAR IS RECOGNIZED BY THE FCC AS THE UNOFFICIAL FREQUENCY COORDINATOR FOR THE RAILROAD RADIO SERVICE PORTION OF THE PRIVATE LAND MOBILE SERVICE. THE PROCEDURES FOR RAILROADS OBTAINING RADIO CHANNELS ARE AS FOLLOWS: A RAILROAD, WISHING A FREQUENCY ASSIGNMENT (RADIO CHANNEL) MAKES A REQUEST TO THE AAR FOR FREQUENCY COORDINATION. THE AAR, UPON RECEIVING THE RAILROAD'S REQUEST TO COORDINATE THE FREQUENCY, REVIEWS THE REQUEST AND RECOMMENDS TO THE FCC THE FREQUENCY THAT WILL CAUSE THE LEAST AMOUNT OF INTERFERENCE FOR THE RAILROAD AND OTHER USERS ON THE SAME OR ADJACENT CHANNELS. THE RAILROAD RECEIVES A COPY OF THE RECOMMENDATION SENT TO THE FCC FROM THE AAR. THE RAILROAD THEN FILES AN APPLICATION FOR A STATION LICENSE WITH THE FCC, ATTACHING A COPY OF THE AAR RECOMMENDATION. UPON RECEIPT OF THE FCC APPLICATION, WITH THE AAR RECOMMENDATION ATTACHED, THE FCC ISSUES THE STATION LICENSE. IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, AMTRAK HAS NOT REQUESTED A SEPARATE FREQUENCY ASSIGNMENT IN THE NEW YORK AREA. OUR UNDERSTANDING IS THAT AMTRAK'S INVESTIGATION OF THIS MATTER DOES NOT WARRENT AN ADDITIONAL CHANNEL IN VIEW OF THE COORDINATION ARRANGEMENTS NOW IN PLACE BETWEEN CONRAIL AND AMTRAK.