Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-95-040
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 3:25 A.M., MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME, ON 6/8/94, THREE BURLINGTON NORTHERN (BN) FREIGHT TRAINS WERE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT. AN EASTBOUND TRAIN THAT HAD STOPPED FOR A TRAIN AHEAD WAS STRUCK IN THE REAR BY A FOLLOWING EASTBOUND TRAIN. BEFORE THE COLLISION, THE STRIKING EASTBOUND TRAIN HAD PASSED RESTRICTED PROCEED SIGNAL INDICATION AT HIGH SPEED WITHOUT APPRECIABLY SLOWING. THE LEAD UNIT OF THE STRIKING TRAIN DERAILED & CAME TO REST ON AN ADJACENT TRACK WHERE IT WAS HIT BY A WESTBOUND TRAIN. THE ENGINEER & CONDUCTOR OF THE STRIKING EASTBOUND TRAIN WERE KILLED & THE ENGINEER & CONDUCTOR OF THE WESTBOUND TRAIN WERE INJURED. DAMAGES TO TRACK, EQUIPMENT, & LADING WERE ESTIMATED AT $2.5 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE SOO LINE RAILROAD COMPANY: LIMIT THE USE OF THE RESTRICTED PROCEED SIGNAL INDICATION TO SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH ITS ELIMINATION WOULD PRESENT UNREASONABLE OPERATING DIFFICULTIES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: THEDFORD, NE, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA94MR005
Accident Reports: Collision and Derailment Involving Three Burlington Northern Freight Trains
Report #: RAR-95-03
Accident Date: 6/8/1994
Issue Date: 9/18/1995
Date Closed: 3/20/1996
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company) (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company)
Date: 3/20/1996
Response: THE BOARD RECOGNIZES YOUR AGGRESSIIVE RESTRICTED SPEED RULES ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM AS A SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION & HAS CLASSIFIED R-95-40 "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION." WE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT, IN THE ABSENCE OF A STRICT RULES ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM, USE OF THE RESTRICTED PROCEED SIGNAL INDICATION IS A LESS SAFE OPERATING PRACTICE. THE BOARD INTENDS TO REVISIT THIS ISSUE SHOULD THE SOO'S RULES ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM FAIL TO BE AN EFFECTIVE DETERRENT.

From: Canadian Pacific Railway (Soo Line Railway Company)
To: NTSB
Date: 1/10/1995
Response: P.A, PENDER, VICE PRESIDENT & CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER HEAVY HAUL - US STATED THE SOO LINE RAILROAD HAS 647 INTERMEDIATE NUMBER PLATED SIGNALS THAT CAN GIVE A RESTRICTED PROCEED SIGNAL INDICATION. ON THE SOO LINE RAILROAD THE RESTRICTED PROCEED TYPE SIGNAL WAS INCORPORATED INTO THE RAILROAD IN FEBRUARY 1983 & ON THE FORMER MILWAUKEE PROPERTY IN JULY 1985. DURING THAT TIME WE HAVE EXPERIENCED TWO COLLISONS THAT INVOLVED TRAINS MOVING ON A RESTRICTED PROCEED SIGNAL INIDICATION. THE CONCLUSION THAT RESTRICTED PROCEED SIGNAL INDICATION IS LESS OF A SAFE OPERATING PRACTICE THAN THE USE OF A STOP & PROCEED SIGNAL INDICATION IS SOMETHING THAT THE SOO LINE IN THIS CASE DOES NOT CONCUR WITH. IT IS A VERY EFFECTIVE OPERATING PROCEDURE FOR CONTROL OF TRAIN MOVEMENTS. IT PROMOTES SAFETY, EFFICIENCY & THE ECONOMY BY NUMEROUS SITUATIONS ON THE RAILROAD. IT PROMOTES EFFICIENCY IN MANY WAYS. TO LIMIT THE USE OF RESTRICTED PROCEED SIGNAL INDICATION TO SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH ITS ELIMINATION WOULD PRESENT UNREASONABLE OPERATING DIFFICULITES DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY SOLVE THE PROBLEM THAT OTHER RAILROADS HAD. THE SOO LINE THROUGH THE OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY TESTING PROGRAM TEST THE EMPLOYEES & TRAIN OPERATIONS ON ATHE APPLICATION OF RESTRICTED SPEED. THIS IS DONE BY SETTING UP OR OBSERVING ACTUAL CONDITIONS THAT INVOLVED RESTRICTED SPEED MOVEMENTS, WHICH THE RESTRICTED PROCEED SIGNAL INDICATIONS WOULD COME UNDER. WHEN DOING THE TESTING OF TRAIN MOVEMENTS, MOVEMENTS ARE BROUGHT TO A STOP TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE COMPLYING WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF RESTRICTED SPEED WHICH REQUIRES THEM TO MOVE AT A SPEED THAT WILL ENABLE THE MOVEMENT TO STOP IN HALF THE RANGE OF VISION. THE EMPLOYEES ARE GIVEN CONSTANT REMINDERS IN TRAIN CLASSES ON THE APPLICATION OF RESTRICTED SPEED & HOW TO COMPLY WITH IT. SINCE THE SOO LINE RAILROAD CONTINUES TO ENFORCE THE RULE & OPERATING PROCEDURES ON RESTRICTED PROCEED SPEED SIGNAL INDICATIONS & IS IN FULL COMPLIANCE WITH THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, WE CANNOT SEE CHANGING THE RULE AT THIS TIME TO A STOP & PROCEED SIGNAL INDICATION AS RECOMMENDED.