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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-96-004
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 5:38 P.M. ON 2/16/96, EASTBOUND MARYLAND RAIL COMMUTER (MARC) TRAIN 286 COLLIDED WITH WESTBOUND NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION (AMTRAK) TRAIN 29, THE CAPITOL LIMITED, AT MILEPOST 8.55 ON CSX MAIN TRACK NEAR SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND. THE MARC TRAIN WAS OPERATING IN THE PUSH MODE IN REVENUE SERVICE BETWEEN BRUNSWICK , MARYLAND, & WASHINGTON, D.C.; IT CONSISTED OF A LOCOMOTIVE & THREE COMMUTER CARS. THE AMTRAK TRAIN, OPERATING IN REVENUE SERVICE BETWEEN WASHINGTON D.C., & CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, CONSISTED OF 2 LOCOMOTIVES & 15 CARS.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE MASS TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION OF THE MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: INSTALL REMOVABLE WINDOWS OR KICK PANELS FOR EMERGENCY EXISTS IN INTERIOR & EXTERIOR PASSAGEWAY DOORS. (URGENT)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Silver Spring, MD, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA96MR004
Accident Reports: Collision and Derailment of Maryland Rail Commuter MARC Train 286 and National Railroad Passenger Corporation AMTRAK Train 29
Report #: RAR-97-02
Accident Date: 2/16/1996
Issue Date: 3/12/1996
Date Closed: 5/25/2001
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: State of Maryland, Transit Administration (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of Maryland, Transit Administration
Date: 5/25/2001
Response: The Safety Board notes that installation of a uni-directional rubber zip strip in the windows of all electrically operated body side doors was completed in August 2000. Your correspondence also indicated that the retrofit of the body end doors was anticipated to be complete by the end of calendar year 2000. A member of our staff subsequently contacted Ms. Kathryn D. Waters, MARC Manager and Chief Operating Officer, to inquire as to the status of the body end door retrofit. Ms. Waters indicated that the MARC fleet retrofit is now complete, except for a single car that is awaiting parts. Based on your response and the information supplied by Ms. Waters, Safety Recommendation R-96-4 is classified “Closed--Acceptable Action.”

From: State of Maryland, Transit Administration
To: NTSB
Date: 11/29/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 12/05/2000 6:31:19 PM MC# 2001752 R-96-4 recommended the installation of emergency exit windows in the carbody side and end doors, to facilitate passenger egress in the event a collision causes the doors to jam so that manual door releases will not operate. We understand that, in the MARC Silver Spring accident of February 16, 1996, this was, in fact the case, that the force of the collision may have caused the mechanical jamming of several doors, and that the exterior and interior manual door releases could not have operated if used. MT A has been working with the manufacturer of its window units to design and install emergency exit windows in the side and end doors. This effort has been complicated by the fact that the design must not only be easy to operate and sturdy enough to withstand the normal rigors of the railroad environment, but must fit into the existing narrow door pocket without inhibiting normal door operation or damaging the equipment that permits the window to operate as an emergency exit. We have successfully completed and installed a uni-directional rubber zip strip in the windows of all electrically operated body side doors. Installation was completed in August 2000. The body end door application is complicated by the more constrained door pocket space and the need to have the emergency window operate in both directions. A First Article design was accepted on April 15, 2000, and installation is in progress. We anticipate completion of installation by the end of calendar year 2000.

From: State of Maryland, Transit Administration
To: NTSB
Date: 11/7/1996
Response: Thank you for your October 21 letter concerning Safety Recommendations R-96-4 through 6. The Maryland Mass Transit Administration (MTA) is pleased to offer the following update to our response of June 12, 1996. Concerning Safety Recommendation R-96-4, MTA has requested that its contractor design removable windows for emergency exits in car end doors and side doors. This design work is complicated by the limited available space in the door pockets, and the need to have the car end door windows removable from either side of the door (car interior or vestibule). Once the design work is complete, we will be able to establish a schedule for manufacture and installation. MTA understands until installation is complete, R-96-4 remains an open item.

From: NTSB
To: State of Maryland, Transit Administration
Date: 10/21/1996
Response: THE BOARD IS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT THE MARC I & II PASSENGER CARS WILL BE RETROFITTED ACCORDINGLY & THAT THE MARC III CARS WILL HAVE RECOMMENDED FEATURES. UNTIL THE RETROFIT PROGRAM IS COMPLETE, THE BOARD HAS CLASSIFIED R-96-4 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of Maryland, Transit Administration
To: NTSB
Date: 7/5/1996
Response: The Maryland Mass Transit Administration (MTA) submitted a response to the National Transportation Safety Boards (NTSB) recommendations R-96-4 through -6, in a letter dated June 12, 1996. At the recent NTSB Public Hearings in RockviIIe, NTSB informed MTA that this response had not been received, so a second copy was provided to NTSB staff on June 26, 1996. This letter is to formally convey to the Board a third copy of the letter dated June 12, 1996.

From: State of Maryland, Transit Administration
To: NTSB
Date: 6/12/1996
Response: MR. JOHN A. AGRO, ADMINISTRATOR, MTA, RESPONDED ON 7/5/96, THAT THE MTA IS DESIGNING EMERGENCY WINDOWS, BODY END DOORS, & KICKOUT PANELS FOR BATHROOM DOORS FOR MARC I & II EQUIPMENT & THAT INSTALLATION IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED BY 2/28/97. MARC III CARS WILL BE DELIVERED WITH REMOVABLE WINDOWS OR KICK PANELS FOR EMERGENCY EXITS IN INTERIOR & EXTERIOR PASSAGEWAY DOORS.