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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-93-029
Details
Synopsis: AT 9:34 A.M. ON JANUARY 18, 1993, NORTHERN INDIANA COMMUTER TRANSPORTATION DISTRICT (NICTD) EASTBOUND COMMUTER TRAIN 7, TRAVELING FROM CHICAGO ILLINOIS, TO SOUTH BEND, INDIANA, AND NICTD WESTBOUND COMMUTER TRAIN 12, TRAVELING FROM SOUTH BEND TO CHICAGO, COLLIDED AT MILE POST (MP) 61.1 IN GARY, INDIANA. TRAIN 7 AND TRAIN 12 CONSISTED OF TWO AND OF THREE PASSENGER CARS, RESPECTIVELY. TRAIN 7 PASSED A STOP SIGNAL AT MP 61.2, AND ITS LEAD CAR 27 BLOCKED WESTBOUND TRAFFIC WHERE THE TRACKS INTERSECT. AFTER TRAIN 12 CROSSED THE GARY GAUNTLET BRIDGE, THE LEFT FRONT CORNER OF ITS LEAD CAR 36 STRUCK THE LEFT FRONT CORNER OF THE TRAIN 7 LEAD CAR 27. AS A RESULT OF THE COLLISION, 7 PASSENGERS DIED AND 95 PEOPLE SUSTAINED INJUREIS. THE ESTIMATED DAMAGE FOR BOTH TRAIN WAS $854,000.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE AMERICAN SHORT LINE RAILROAD ASSOCIATION: DEVELOP IMPROVED PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING FITNESS FOR DUTY FOR RAILROAD PERSONNEL IN SAFETY-SENSITIVE POSITIONS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: GARY, IN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA93MR002
Accident Reports: Collision between Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District Eastbound Train 7 and Westbound Train 12
Report #: RAR-93-03
Accident Date: 1/18/1993
Issue Date: 1/7/1994
Date Closed: 3/17/2003
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
Date: 3/17/2003
Response: The Safety Board notes that the ASLRRA is a member of the industry work/rest task force and will continue to participate in this endeavor. The Board is also aware that the railroad industry in general, in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the labor organizations, has expended considerable effort to address fatigue and has made significant progress. We are familiar with the fatigue countermeasures that have been widely distributed in the railroad industry. Although the Board believes more effort may be needed for operating employees to fully understand the detrimental effects that fatigue can have on performance, given that a valid mechanism for determining fitness for duty or degradation in performance due to the effects of fatigue, stress, or other psychological and physiological conditions currently does not exist and may be years away, we believe that the ASLRRA's efforts constitute an acceptable alternate approach to the intent of this recommendation. Consequently, Safety Recommendation R-93-29 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action."

From: American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
To: NTSB
Date: 10/7/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/16/2002 4:09:25 PM MC# 2020869 In my letter to NTSB Chairman Hall I responded to this file accordingly: "NTSB determined that R-93-29 remains "Open--Acceptable Response" until our efforts with the work/rest task force has reported its conclusions and recommendations. In theory this is a sound recommendation, however, the majority of our member railroads are not high speed, high volume or passenger operating railroads and in most cases they report to duty at the same location daily and work with the same people. This has a tendency to form a teamwork network with the crews and each member of the crew watching out for the other. ASLRRA is a member of the work/rest task force and will continue to participate until the final recommendations are made. ASLRRA will make available to our membership a model program and encourage our members to adopt the program. As you stated in your statement "ASLRRA may not pose as great a safety risk as commuter railroads---", this is a very true statement and based on that I recommend that this be considered closed." Our position, and activity, on this issue has not changed. This is an issue that is still under study, actively, with the rail industry. The industry, working collectively with the Federal Railroad Association, and the labor organizations, and spending a great deal of money to research the best possible way to pursue this topic, has made significant progress. As there has been no recorded accidents or fatalities due to fatigue on the Class II and III railroads, and that we will continue to work with the industry, I once again recommend that R-93-29 be closed.

From: NTSB
To: American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
Date: 10/4/2002
Response: With the exception of R-93-29, the Safety Board has never received a response from ASLRRA regarding these recommendations. With respect to R-93-29, the Safety Board was informed in previous correspondence that the ASLRRA was a member of an industry work/rest task force that was focusing on improvements to working conditions and was working on a model program for its members. Safety Recommendation R-93-29 was classified "Open--Acceptable Response," pending an update on the ASLRRA's progress on this work. The other five recommendations have remained classified "Open--Await Response." The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure the public the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. That is why we are monitoring the progress of these recommendations. Because the Safety Board has been in contact with the ASLRRA regarding other safety recommendations (most recently R-01-13, which was classified "Closed--Acceptable Action" on May 28, 2002, based on the positive action taken by ASLRRA in response to that recommendation), the Safety Board is concerned that the recommendations discussed in this letter may have been inadvertently overlooked. The Safety Board would appreciate receiving information from the ASLRRA on any actions taken in response to these recommendations. Please address your response to Carol J. Carmody. If you have any questions regarding these recommendations or wish to meet to facilitate a discussion and closure of these recommendations, please contact Mr. Jim Rosenberg, Deputy Director, Operations, Office of Safety Recommendations and Accomplishments, at (202) 314-6177. We are enclosing copies of the letters that transmitted these recommendations to the ASLRRA.

From: NTSB
To: American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
Date: 12/4/2000
Response: The Safety Board notes that the ASLRRA is a member of a joint industry work/rest task force that is focusing on conclusions and recommendations to improve working conditions. The Board looks forward to ASLRRA's providing a model program for its members. Because the ASLRRA is working to address the recommendation, Safety Recommendation R-93-29 remains classified "Open-Acceptable Response."

From: American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
To: NTSB
Date: 8/1/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/21/2000 4:18:56 PM MC# 2001115 1. Mr. Matthew B. Reilly, Jr., Executive Director, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association NTSB determined that R-93-29 remains "Open--Acceptable Response" until our efforts with the work/rest task force has reported its conclusions and recommendations. In theory this is a sound recommendation, however, the majority of our member railroads are not high speed, high volume or passenger operating railroads and in most cases they report to duty at the same location daily and work with the same people. This has a tendency to form a teamwork network with the crews and each member of the crew watching out for the other. ASLRRA is a member of the work/rest task force and will continue to participate until the final recommendations are made. ASLRRA will make available to our membership a model program and encourage our members to adopt the program. As you stated in your statement "ASLRRA may not pose as great a safety risk as commuter railroads---", this is a very true statement and based on that I recommend that this be considered closed.

From: NTSB
To: American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
Date: 3/27/1995
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS ALSO AWARE OF THE ASLRA'S PARTICIPATION IN THE WORK/REST TASK FORCE STUDY THAT IS CURRENTLY UNDERWAY I NRESPONSE TO PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATION ABOUT STUDYING FATIGUE & HOW IT AFFECTS AN EMPLOYEE'S FITNESS FOR DUTY. CONSEQUENTLY, THE BOARD HAS CLASSIFIED R-93-29 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE" UNTIL THE WORK/REST FORCE HAS REPORTED ITS CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS.

From: American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
To: NTSB
Date: 12/15/1994
Response: WILLIAM E. LOFTUS, PRESIDENT, STATED THAT THE INCIDENT INVOLVED HIGH-SPEED COMMUTER TRAINS OPERATING IN A BUSY & COMPLEX RAIL ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH EMPLOYEE FITNESS WOULD HAVE A PRIORITY STATUS. MEMBERS OF THE ASLRA ARE ALMOST ALL LOW SPEED FREIGHT OPERATORS & NOT SUBJECT TO THE SAME OPERATING REQUIREMENTS OF COMMUTER OPERATIONS. HOWEVER, ASLRA HAS PUBLISHED A SAFETY RULES BOOK FOR USE BY MEMBER RAILROADS & HAS ESTABLISHED TRAINING & TESTING NORMS FOR TRAIN & ENGINE SERVICE EMPLOYEES.