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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-86-041
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 1:33 P.M., C.D.T., ON JUNE 9, 1985, ST. LOUIS SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY (COTTON BELT) FREIGHT TRAIN EXTRA 4835 NORTH DERAILED WHILE PASSING OVER A BALLAST-DECK PILE TRESTLE LOCATED ABOUT 3.3 MILES SOUTHWEST OF PINE BLUFF, ARKANSAS. EIGHTEEN OF THE 42 DERAILED CARS WERE LOADED TANK CARS, AND 14 OF THESE CARS CONTAINED REGULATED HAZARDOUS OR TOXIC CHEMICAL COMMODITIES; 4 OTHERS CONTAINTED NON-REGULATED FLAMMABLE PETROLEUM AND LIQUID PLASTICS PRODUCTS. FIRE BROKE OUT IN THE WRECKAGE, AND SMOKE AND TOXIC GASES WERE RELEASED INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. TWO TANK CARS WHICH WERE SUBJECTED TO INTENSE THERMAL EXPOSURE EXPLODED BUT DID NOT ROCKET. MORE THAN 2,800 PERSONS WERE EVACUATED FROM WITHIN A 1-MILE RADIUS OF THE DERAILMENT SITE. PROPERTY DAMAGE WAS REPORTED TO BE MORE THAN $4 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE ST. LOUIS SOUTHWESTERN RAILWAY COMPANY: UNIFORMLY MAINTAIN ITS MAIN TRACKS IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS CURRENT STANDARD FOR THE NUMBER AND DISTRIBUTION OF RAIL ANCHORS TO INHIBIT RAIL MOVEMENT.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Pine Bluff, AR, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA85RM007
Accident Reports: Derailment of St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company (Cotton Belt) Freight Train Extra 4835 North and Release of Hazardous Materials
Report #: RAR-86-04
Accident Date: 6/9/1985
Issue Date: 11/18/1986
Date Closed: 12/1/1987
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company
To: NTSB
Date: 1/18/1989
Response:

From: NTSB
To: St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company
Date: 12/1/1987
Response:

From: St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company
To: NTSB
Date: 9/8/1987
Response: SPECIFIC STEPS TAKEN TO DETERMINE THAT MAINLINE TRACKS ARE IN COMPLIANCE WITH CURRENT STANDARDS ARE AS FOLLOWS: 1) DURING EXTREME AMBIENT TEMPERATURES, TRACK INSPECTION FREQUENCIES ARE INCREASED TO DETECT ANY SHIFTING OF ANCHORS DUE TO RAIL MOVEMENT, LOSS OF ANCHORS OR ANY LONGITUDINAL OR LATERAL MOVEMENT OF RAIL. 2) INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN ISSUED REGARDING SPEED RESTRICTIONS TO BE PLACED IN AREAS WHERE TRACK HAS BEEN DISTURBED BY TRACK MAINTENANCE CREWS. 3) DURING PERIODS OF EXTREME TEMPERATURES, AT EACH LOCATION WHERE RAIL IS DISTRESSED, RAIL ANCHORS ARE ADJUSTED OVER THE ENTIRE LENGTH AFFECTED AND ADDITIONAL ANCHORS APPLIED IF RE QUIRED TO MEET THIS STANDARD OR TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL RAIL RESTRAINING EFFECT. 4) TRAINING CLASSES HAVE BEEN HELD WITH SUPERVISORS, FOREMEN, WELDERS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF ANCHORING CONTINUOUS WELDED RAIL, MAINTE NANCE PRACTICES TO BE FOLLOWED DURING TEMPERATURE EXTREMES, HOW TO DETERMINE LONGITUDINAL RAIL MOVEMENT AND CAUSES OF DISTORTION IN TRACK ALIGNMENT. IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE SPECIFIC ACTIONS, QUALITY CONTROL CHECKS, TO INSURE MAIN LINE TRACKS COMPLY WITH STANDARDS, ARE MADE BY REGIONAL AND SYSTEM MAINTENANCE OFFICERS, DIVISION ENGINEERS, ASSISTANT DIVISION ENGINEERS AND ROADMASTERS.

From: NTSB
To: St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company
Date: 7/13/1987
Response:

From: St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company
To: NTSB
Date: 5/13/1987
Response: SUBSEQUENT TO THE JUNE 9TH DERAILMENT, A PLAN OF ACTION WAS DEVELOPED TO CORRCET AREAS IDENTIFIED AS POTENTIAL TRACK BUCKLE LOCATIONS. CORRECTIONS INCLUDED APPLICATION OF ADDITIONAL RAIL ANCHORS, BALLAST, UNSTRESSING CONTINUOUS WELDED RAIL, CORRECTING IRREGULLAR TRACK ALIGNMENT, DRIVING ADDITIONAL HOLD DOWN SPIKES, INSTALLATION OF NEW TIES, AND RELAY OF CONTINUOUS RAIL. ACTION TO CORRECT LOCATION IDENTIFIED AS HAVING POTENTIAL RAIL STRESS PROBLEM BEGAN IMMEDIATELY AND WAS DONE UPON COMPLETION OR RAIL, TIE, AND IN-FIELD PRODUCTION WELDING PROBLEMS. STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO ASSURE THAT MAIN LINE TRACKS ARE MAINTAINED IN COMPLIANCE WITH CURRENT STANDARD FOR THE NUMBER AND DISTRIBUTION OF RAIL ANCHORS TO INHIBIT RAIL MOVEMENT. IN ADDITION, A PROGRAM, A PROGRAM HAS BEEN DEVELOPED TO RE-EDUCATE ALL MAINTENANCE OF WAY EMPLOYEE INVOLVED IN SUPERVISING THE MAINTENANCE OF CONTINUOUS WELDED RAIL.

From: NTSB
To: St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company
Date: 4/24/1987
Response: