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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-96-073
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 4:10 A.M. ON 2/1/96, ATCHISON, TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY (ATSF) FREIGHT TRAIN H-BALT1-31, EN ROUTE FROM BARSTOW, CALIFORNIA, TO LOS ANGELES, WAS TRAVELING WESTBOUND ON THE ATSF SOUTH MAIN TRACK WHEN IT DERAILED AT MILEPOST 60.4 NEAR CAJON JUNCTION, CALIFORNIA. AFTER THE DERAILMENT AND THE SUBSEQUENT RAIL CAR PILEUP, WHICH INVOLVED FIVE CARS CONTAINING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, A FIRE IGNITED THAT ENGULFED THE TRAIN AND THE SURROUNDING AREA. THE CONDUCTOR AND THE BRAKEMAN SUSTAINED FATAL INJURIES; THE ENGINEER SUFFERED SERIOUS INJURIES.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FRA: INFORM THE INDUSTRY THAT THE PLACEMENT OF EVENT RECORDERS OTHER THAN IN THE LEAD LOCOMOTIVE WILL NOT RECORD THE REQUIRED DATA AS THOUGH THE EVENT RECORDERS WERE IN THE LEAD LOCMOTIVE AND ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH 49 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS 229.135(A).
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable
Mode: Railroad
Location: Cajon, CA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA96MR002
Accident Reports: Derailment of Freight Train H-BALTI-31 Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company
Report #: RAR-96-05
Accident Date: 2/1/1996
Issue Date: 3/5/1997
Date Closed: 8/8/2004
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s): Recorders

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 8/8/2004
Response: The Safety Board's investigation of the February 1, 1996, derailment near Cajon Junction, California, revealed that only the third locomotive unit of the train involved in the derailment was equipped with an event recorder. Because the FRA had issued a final rule regarding the placement of event recorders that had become effective just 8 months prior to the derailment, the Board was concerned that industry may not have been as familiar with the final rule as it should have been. The final rule required that any train operated faster than 30 miles per hour shall have an in-service event recorder in the lead locomotive. This recommendation is now more than 8 years old, and the Safety Board is aware, through its accident investigations and routine contact with industry, that the industry is now very cognizant of the fact that an event recorder must be placed in the lead locomotive and that the placement of event recorders in locations other than in the lead locomotive will not record the required data. Consequently, Safety Recommendation R-96-73 is now classified "Closed--No Longer Applicable."

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 3/17/2004
Response: On 3/17/2004, Board staff met with FRA staff to discuss this recommendation. According to the present rule, the duty to equip the lead locomotive may be met with an event recorder located elsewhere than the lead locomotive provided that such event recorder monitors and records the required data as though it were located in the lead locomotive. According to the FRA's proposed rule, lead locomotive is a definition moved from current ยง 229.135(a) and revised to reflect current industry practice and to make it clear that "lead locomotive" describes a set position in the train rather than the locomotive from which the crew is operating the train. According to the FRA, this change was necessary, among other reasons, to accurately record the signal indications displayed to the crew of the train.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 8/6/2002
Response: As discussed at the June 7 meeting, crashworthy locomotive event recorders is one issue that we all hope can be brought to closure in the next 2 years; we anticipate reviewing the notice of proposed rulemaking when it is issued. The Safety Board will assist the FRA in any way possible to finalize this rule, as that action will bring to closure Safety Recommendations R-96-70, -71, -72, and -73; R-97-56; and R-98-30 and -57, which, pending final rulemaking on this issue, remain classified "Open--Unacceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 9/30/1997
Response: R-96-73 ASKED THE FRA TO INFORM THE INDUSTRY THAT THE PLACEMENT OF EVENT RECORDERS OTHER THAN IN THE LEAD LOCOMOTIVE WILL NOT RECORD THE REQUIRED DATA AS THOUGH THE EVENT RECORDERS WERE IN THE LEAD LOCOMOTIVE & ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH 49 CODE OF THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS 229.135(A). AGAIN, THIS RECOMMENDATION DOES NOT REQUIRE THAT THE RSAC PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESS. INFORMING THE INDUSTRY IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE FRA, NOT TH RSAC. UNTIL THE FRA HAS TAKEN THE RECOMMENDED ACTION, THE BOARD HAS CLASSIFIED R-96-73 "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/15/1997
Response: JOLENE MOLITORIS, ADMINISTRATOR RESPPONDED THAT THE FRA HAS REFERRED THE EVENT RECORDED ISSUE RECOMMENDATIONS R-96-70 THROUGH -73) TO THE RAIL SAFETY ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR HANDLING. THE RSAC PROCESS WILL LEAD TO EXPEDITED ACTION ON THESE RECOMMENDATIONS.