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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-87-063
Details
Synopsis: ON OCTOBER 9, 1986, EASTBOUND NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION (AMTRAK) PASSENGER TRAIN 8 DERAILED IN FALL RIVER, WISCONSIN. EACH OF THE FREIGHT TRAINS PRECEDING TRAIN 8 RECEIVED INFORMATION THAT PREPARED THEM EITHER TO CROSS OVER FROM ONE TRACK TO ANOTHER AT FALL RIVER BECAUSE OF TRACK WORK IN THE AREA OR TO STOP AT FALL RIVER FOR IN STRUCTIONS. HOWEVER, THE ENGINEER OF TRAIN 8 DID NOT HAVE ANY ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OR TRAIN ORDER TO INDICATE THAT HIS TRAIN WAS TO CROSS OVER FROM THE EASTWARD TO THE WESTWARD TRACK IN FALL RIVER. AS A RESULT, TRAIN 8 ENTERED THE CROSSOVER AT 70 MPH AND THE LOCOMOTIVE UNITS OVERTURNED. THE AUTHORIZED SPEED FOR THE CROSSOVER WAS 10 MPH. TWO LOCOMOTIVE UNITS AND 10 PASSENGER CARS DERAILED; THE FIREMAN WAS KILLED, TWO CREWMEMBERS WERE INJURED SERIOUSLY, AND TWO RECEIVED MODERATE INJURIES. OF THE 215 PASSENGERS ON BOARD, 26 WERE INJURED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE SOO LIND RAILROAD: PROVIDE TRAIN DISPATCHERS AND OPERATORS AT A MINIMUM ON OFF-DUTY PERIOD OF 24 HOURS DURING ANY 7-DAY CONSECUTIVE WORK PERIOD, A MANDATORY LUNCH BREAK, AND AN ADDITIONAL BREAK IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE SHIFT AND ONE BREAK IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE SHIFT IN ANY 8-HOUR TOUR OF DUTY.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: FALL RIVER, WI, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA87MR001
Accident Reports: Derailment of Amtrak Passenger Train 8 Operating on the Soo Line Railroad
Report #: RAR-87-05
Accident Date: 10/9/1986
Issue Date: 2/8/1988
Date Closed: 7/12/1989
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company) (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Fatigue

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company)
Date: 7/12/1989
Response:

From: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company)
To: NTSB
Date: 2/16/1989
Response: IN REGARD TO RECOMMENDATION R-87-63 AND THE PROGRESS THAT HAS BEEN MADE IN STAFFING AND TERRITORIES IN OUR TRAIN DISPATCHING OFFICES, THE SOO LINE FEELS THAT EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE AND IS CONTINUING TO BE MADE IN LINE WITH THIS SUBJECT.

From: NTSB
To: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company)
Date: 12/20/1988
Response:

From: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company)
To: NTSB
Date: 8/30/1988
Response: SOO LINE IS CURRENTLY ENGAGED IN ACTIVELY TRAINING NEW DISPATCHERS TO AUGMENT OUR EXISTING FORCE. FIVE NEW TRAIN DISPATCHERS HAVE BEEN PROMOTED AND FIVE MORE ARE IN TRAINING AT THIS TIME. WE ARE ALSO REARRANGING DISPATCHING TERRI TORIES TO EQUALIZE THE WORKLOAD. FURTHER, THE COMPANY IS INSTALLING COMPUTER ASSISTED TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS WHICH WILL BE GOING ON LINE THE FOURTH QUARTER OF 1988. ALL OF THESE EFFORTS SHOULD REDUCE INDIVIDUAL DISPATCHER WORKLOAD. WE ARE SATISFIED THAT THE FOREGOING RESPONSE TOGETHER WITH MY COMMENTS OF MAY 9, 1988 ADEQUATELY MEET THE CONCERNS EXPRESSED BY NTSB IN THE VIEW OF THE REALITIES OF RAILROAD OPERATIONS. THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION IS AWARE OF SOO LINE'S ACTIONS IN RESPONSE TO THIS DERAILMENT, AND I UNDERSTAND HAS NOT INDICATED ANY DISAGREEMENT WITH THEM. WE ARE COMMITTED TO SAFE, EFFICIENT RAIL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FOR THE TRAVELING AND SHIPPING PUBLIC, AND BELIEVE THAT THE ACTIONS TAKEN WITH RESPECT TO YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS MEET THOSE OBJECTIVES.

From: NTSB
To: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company)
Date: 7/25/1988
Response:

From: NTSB
To: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company)
Date: 6/2/1988
Response:

From: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company)
To: NTSB
Date: 5/9/1988
Response: DISPATCHERS BID ON AND WORK A 5 DAY A WEEK POSITIONS. THESE POSITIONS ARE COVERED BY THE HOURS OF SERVICE LAW WHICH DEFINES THE NUMBERS OF CONTINUOUS HOURS THEY CAN WORK. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THE 5 DAYS A WEEK WOULD BE IF WE ARE SHORT OF PEOPLE DUE TO ILLNESS, ETC. AND A DISPATCHER FILLS IN AT OVERTIME. IT IS NOT FEASIBLE, NOR DO WE BELIEVE IT TO BE PRACTICAL TO PROVIDE A DISPATCHER WITH A LUNCH BREAK OR TWO BREAKS WITHIN A SHIFT. TO DO THIS, ONE DISPATCHER WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE A TRANSFER WITH A RELIEVING DISPATCHER. IF WE WOULD COMPLY WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS AS IT READS, IT COULD TAKE UP TO 2 HOURS AND 30 MINUTES PER SHIFT IN TRANSFER TIME TO KEEP THE OPERATION TIMELY AND SAFE. DISPATCHERS AND OPERATORS ARE NOT RESTRICTED TO THEIR DESKS AND, AS THE OPPORTUNITIES PRESENT THEMSELVES, THE DISPATCHERS HAVE THE FREEDOM TO MOVE IN AND ABOUT THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY OF THEIR WORK AREA IN ORDER TO GO TO THE RESTROOMS, OBTAIN COFFEE OR FOOD FROM THE VENDING MACHINES PROVIDED. THIS WE FEEL HELPS THE DISPATCHERS KEEP THEIR BODIES AND MINDS FUNCTIONING IN A HEALTHY, EFFICIENT MANNER.