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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-87-064
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 FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: MODIFY THE REGULATIONS FOR THE TESTING OF RADIOS USED IN OPERATIONS TO BE TESTED AT EACH CREW CHANGE LOCATION TO DETERMINE THAT THE RADIO WILL TRANSMIT AND RECEIVE OVER A DISTANCE EQUAL TO THE LONGEST DISTANCE BETWEEN BASE STATIONS ON THE ROUTE THE TRAIN IS TO TRAVEL.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable
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: 5/7/1991
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 5/7/1991
Response: Safety Recommendation R-87-64 urged the FRA to modify the regulations for the testing of radios used in operations to be tested at each crew change location to determine that the radio will transmit and receive over a distance equal to the longest distance between base stations on the route the train is to travel. We again note that both the FRA dispatching practices study and routine FRA inspection and monitoring activities have revealed that the railroad industry has eliminated the problems that brought about this recommendation. Based on this information, we have classified Safety Recommendation R-87-64 as "Closed--No Longer Applicable." Again, however, the Safety Board will continue to monitor communications-related issues that may surface during accident investigations and special studies to ensure that the industry actions are adequate. Member Burnett would have preferred that this recommendation be classified as "Closed--Unacceptable Action."

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 9/21/1990
Response: FRA RECENTLY COMPLETED A 2-YEAR STUDY OF RAILROAD TRAIN DISPATCHING PRACTICES WHICH PROVIDED AN EXTENSIVE LOOK AT THE CURRENT CONDITION OF RADIO COMMUNICATIONS. THAT STUDY, WELL AS ROUTINE FRA INSPECTION AND MONITORING ACTIVITIES, HAS NOT REVEALED A NEED FOR A RADIO TESTING REQUIREMENT. ACQUISTION OF NEW RADIO EQUIPMENT, CHANGES THAT HAVE IMPROVED THE RELIABILITY OF CURRENT RADIOS, CONSTRUCTION OF ADDITIONAL WAYSIDE BASE STATIONS AND RAILROAD SELF-IMPOSED TESTING OBLIGATIONS TECHNOLOGY, HAVE ELIMINATED THE PROBLEMS THAT PROMPTED THE SUGGESTION FOR ADDITIONAL REGULATORY ACTION. FRA BELIEVES THAT THIS RECOMMENDATION SHOULD BE RECONSIDERED AND CLOSED BECAUSE OF THESE INTERVENING EVENTS.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/30/1989
Response:

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 4/27/1989
Response:

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/10/1989
Response: THE FRA RESPONSE IS LENGTHY, THE INTENT OF WHICH FOLLOWS: THE FRA CONDUCTED 3 DAYS OF PUBLIC HEARINGS ON COMMUNICA TIONS IN THE RAIL INDUSTRY. SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE WAS PRE SENTED TO JUSTIFY COMMENCEMENT OF A REGULATORY PROCEEDING ON RADIO USE. AMONG THE PRINCIPAL ISSUES ARE 1) MANDATORY RADIO EQUIPPING OF INTERCITY FREIGHTS, 2) ASSURING THAT LOCOMOTIVES OF DIFFERENT CARRIERS OPERATING ON THE SAME LINES CAN TALK TO ONE ANOTHER, AND 3) ASSURING THAT RADIO EQUIPMENT, ONCE INSTALLED, IS IN PROPER WORKING ORDER. WE WILL KEEP THE BOARD APPRISED AND WELCOME NTSB PARTICIPATION.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 6/15/1988
Response: