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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-97-015
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, and Washington, DC.; it consisted of a locomotive and three commuter cars. The Amtrak train, operating in revenue service between Washington DC., and Chicago, Illinois, consisted of 2 locomotives and 15 cars.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: Require all passenger cars to have either removable windows, kick panels, other suitable means for emergency exiting through the interior & exterior passageway doors where the door could impede passengers exiting in an emergency & take appropriate emergency measures to ensure corrective action until these measures are incorporated into minimum passenger car safety standards.
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: 8/28/1997
Date Closed: 1/15/2014
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 1/15/2014
Response: We have reviewed the November 29, 2013, notice published at Federal Register 78 (230), 71786 to 71816, “49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 238 and 239, Passenger Train Emergency Systems II; Final Rule.” Although we are disappointed with the very long delay, we are pleased that the FRA has finally completed the recommended action. The specific regulatory changes are these: • 49 CFR §238.112 Door Emergency Egress and Rescue Access Systems, 49 CFR §238.113 Emergency Window Exits, and 49 CFR §238.114 Rescue Access Windows, 49 CFR §238.123 Emergency Roof Access, 49 CFR §238.441 Emergency Roof Access, 49 CFR §238.439 Doors, 49 CFR §238.307 Periodic Mechanical Inspection of Passenger Cars and Unpowered Vehicles Used in Passenger Trains, and 49 CFR §239.105 Debriefing and Critique, satisfying the intent of Safety Recommendation R-97-15. • 49 CFR §238.115 Emergency Lighting, 49 CFR §238.127 Low-Location Emergency Exit Path Marking, 49 CFR §238.303 Exterior Calendar Day Mechanical Inspection of Passenger Equipment, 49 CFR §238.305 Interior Calendar Day Mechanical Inspection of Passenger Cars, 49 CFR §239.105 Debriefing and Critique, satisfying the intent of Safety Recommendation R 97 17. Because the final rules collectively satisfy Safety Recommendations R-97-15 and -17, the recommendations are classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 3/23/2012
Response: Notation 8393: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) entitled, "Passenger Train Emergency Systems II," which was published in 77 Federal Register 154 on January 3, 2012. The NPRM aims to improve the safety of passenger trains through the development and enhancement of requirements for passenger car emergency systems. Specifically, in the NPRM, the FRA proposes new requirements for interior vestibule doors and low-location emergency exit path markings, along with new requirements for emergency lighting in all passenger cars. Also, the FRA proposes to enhance the requirements for survivability of emergency lighting systems in new passenger cars and for emergency egress and rescue access signage. Finally, the FRA seeks to clarify existing requirements for participation in debriefing and critique sessions following emergency situations and full-scale simulations. The NPRM addresses safety recommendations issued by the NTSB from its investigation of the Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) train collision with a National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) train near Silver Spring, Maryland, on February 16, 1996.1 Eight passengers and three crewmembers died, while 26 others were injured in the accident. The NTSB investigation uncovered several safety problems; for example, some passengers could not egress the MARC train. The NTSB expressed concern regarding passengers' ability to exit through interior and exterior passageway doors. Additionally, two passengers on the MARC train reported that emergency lighting was not available following the accident, which made it more difficult to move in the darkness. The NTSB investigation revealed that the main car battery powering the emergency lighting had been damaged as a result of the derailment. The NTSB expressed concern regarding emergency lighting survivability because the location of the battery supplying power to the emergency lighting system below the car made it susceptible to damage from the rail, the car's trucks, and the ground surface in the event of a derailment. Among the recommendations that NTSB issued as a result of the Silver Spring accident investigation, the FRA was provided with an urgent recommendation to: Inspect all commuter rail equipment to determine whether it has: (1) easily accessible interior emergency quick-release mechanisms adjacent to exterior passageway doors; (2) removable windows or kick panel in interior and exterior passageway doors; and (3) prominently displayed retroreflective signage marking all interior and exterior emergency exits. If any commuter equipment lacks one or more of these features, take appropriate emergency measures to ensure corrective action until these measures are incorporated into minimum passenger car safety standards. Urgent (R-96-7) The Urgent Safety Recommendation R-96-7 was classified "Closed-Superseded" on August 28, 1997, by Safety Recommendations R-97-14 through -16 for long term action. Require all passenger cars to have easily accessible interior emergency quick-release mechanism adjacent to exterior passageway doors and take appropriate emergency measures to ensure corrective action until these measures are incorporated into minimum passenger car safety standards. (R-97-14) Safety Recommendation R-97-14 was classified as "Closed-Acceptable Action" on July 27, 2001, after the FRA published a Final Rule titled, "Passenger Equipment Safety Standards," at 64 Federal Register 25540-25705 on May 12, 1999 (codified at 49 Code of Federal Regulations(CFR) 238.235, "Doors"). The rule became effective December 31, 1999. Require all passenger cars to have either removable windows, kick panels, other suitable means for emergency exiting through the interior and exterior passageway doors where the door could impede passengers exiting in an emergency and take appropriate emergency measures to ensure corrective action until these measures are incorporated into minimum passenger car safety standards. (R-97-15) Safety Recommendation R-97-15 currently IS classified as "Open-Unacceptable Response." Issue interim standards for the use of luminescent or retroreflective material or both to mark all interior and exterior emergency exits in all passenger cars as soon as possible and incorporate the interim standards into minimum passenger car safety standards. (R-97-16) Safety Recommendation R-97-16 was classified "Closed-Acceptable Action" on February 3, 2000, after the FRA published a Final Rule titled, "Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness" at 63 Federal Register 24629-24683 on May 4, 1998 (codified at 49 CFR 239.l07(a)(l), "Emergency exits"). Require all passenger cars to contain reliable emergency lighting fixtures that are each fitted with a self-contained independent power source and incorporate the requirements into minimum passenger car safety standards. (R-97-17) Safety Recommendation R-97-17 currently is classified as "Open-Unacceptable Response." Provide promptly a prescribed inspection and maintenance test cycle to ensure the proper operation of all emergency exit windows as well as provide that the 180-day inspection and maintenance test cycle is prescribed in the final rule. (R-97-18) Safety Recommendation R-97-18 was classified "Closed-Acceptable Alternate Action" on July 27, 2001, after the FRA published a Final Rule at 64 Federal Register 25540-25705 (codified at 49 CFR 238.307(d)(4), "Periodic mechanical inspection of passenger cars and unpowered vehicles used in passenger trains"). Require that all exterior emergency door release mechanisms on passenger cars be functional before a passenger car is placed in revenue service, that the emergency door release mechanism be placed in a readily accessible position and marked for easy identification in emergencies and derailments, and that these requirements be incorporated into minimum passenger car safety standards. (R-97-19) Safety Recommendation R-97-19 was classified "Closed-Acceptable Action" on July 27, 2001, after the FRA published a Final Rule at 64 Federal Register 25540-25705 (codified at 49 CFR 238.111, "Pre-revenue service acceptance testing plan" and 238.235, "Doors"). Require that a comprehensive inspection of all commuter passenger cars be performed to independently verify that the interior materials in these cars meet the expected performance requirements for flammability & smoke emissions characteristics. (R-97-20) Safety Recommendation R-97-20 was classified "Closed-Acceptable Action" on July 27, 2001, after the FRA published a Final Rule at 64 Federal Register 25540-25705 (codified at 49 CFR 238.103, "Fire safety"). The Safety Board notes that there are no current regulations addressing a "suitable means for emergency exiting through the interior and exterior passageway doors where the door could impede passengers exiting in an emergency." The Safety Board notes that the NPRM's proposed new section 238.112, "Doors," contains explicit requirements for each vestibule door and any other interior door intended for passage through a passenger car in the event the door will not open in an emergency, or the car is on its side and the door is difficult to open. Therefore, the Safety Board considers the proposed requirements in the NPRM to be consistent with the intent of Safety Recommendation R-97-l5. The Safety Board notes that although current regulations2 address emergency lighting with a back-up power system for each passenger car, the regulations do not provide for emergency lighting fixtures that are each fitted with a self-contained independent power source. The Safety Board notes that proposed new section 238.115, "Emergency lighting," will contain explicit requirements that emergency lighting shall be provided in each passenger car in accordance with the minimum requirements specified in American Public Transportation Association Standard SS-E-013-99, Rev. 1, "Standard for Emergency Lighting System Design for Passenger Cars," October 2007, or an alternative standard providing at least an equivalent level of safety if approved by the FRA pursuant to section 238.21. Therefore, the Safety Board considers the proposed requirements in the NPRM to be consistent with the intent of Safety Recommendation R-97-l7. The NTSB is encouraged that the various actions indicated in the NPRM are under consideration. In addition, the NTSB notes that the FRA anticipates each passenger car to be equipped with a removable panel or removable window in the vestibule door and any other interior door intended for passage through a passenger car during an emergency within 4 years of the rulemaking. However, it is unfortunate that more than 17 years after the Silver Spring accident, no design changes have yet been required for passenger car doors or emergency lighting. The NTSB is encouraged that industry and the FRA are exploring options to address passenger car door kick panels and emergency lighting. Thus, the NTSB supports the intent of the NPRM. The NTSB remains concerned, however, about the significant length of time it is taking to make a modification available to operators. The NTSB appreciates the opportunity to comment on this NPRM.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 12/1/2011
Response: CC# 201100449 was closed administratively; no response was written or mailed.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/12/2011
Response: -From Ray LaHood, Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation: NTSB Classification and Actions Taken by FRA: Open – Unacceptable Response. On May 12, 1999, FRA published the Passenger Equipment Safety Standards for rail passenger service. 64 Fed. Reg. 25660. These regulations addressed kick-out panels in doors for trains traveling 126 to 150 mph (Tier II passenger equipment), but did not address kick-out panels in doors for trains traveling at or below 125 mph (Tier I passenger equipment). These regulations did address egress through doors and windows for Tier I passenger equipment, and on February 1, 2008, FRA published a final rule amending the Passenger Equipment Safety Standards to further enhance egress requirements. 73 Fed. Reg. 6412. FRA’s RSAC Emergency Preparedness Task Force has reviewed this recommendation and, through the Passenger Safety Working Group, reported its own recommendations for removable panels in certain interior doors to the full RSAC body on February 20, 2008, which in turn accepted the task force’s recommendations. The RSAC recommendations apply to new passenger cars and do not implicate concerns associated with retrofitting existing doors to accommodate removal panels that would be suitable for emergency egress. Publication of an NPRM is expected by spring 2011. In addition, FRA’s Office of Railroad Policy and Development utilized the Small Business Innovative Research Program to research the viability of integrating removable panels/windows into end-frame doors in cab cars and multiple-unit locomotives. The research focused on developing requirements and design concepts for these removable panels/windows. It was found that if a removable panel/window were to be placed in such a door, the panel/window would have to withstand substantial loading forces in order to maintain the integrity of the end frame structure and meet existing FRA regulations. The NTSB has reclassified this recommendation as “Open – Unacceptable Response” pending FRA efforts to implement this recommendation in all passenger cars, both new and existing. Actions Needed to Be Taken by FRA: Issue regulations.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 11/22/2010
Response: On May 12, 1999, the FRA published in the Federal Register a final rule on Passenger Equipment Safety Standards that addressed door removable windows and kick-out panels for passenger trains traveling 125 to 150 miles per hour (Tier II passenger equipment). Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 238 Section 439(f), “Doors,” requires the following: A passenger compartment end door (other than a door providing access to the exterior of the trainset) shall be equipped with a kick-out panel, pop-out window, or other similar means of egress in the event the door will not open, or shall be so designed as to pose a negligible probability of becoming inoperable in the event of car body distortion following a collision or derailment. On February 20, 2008, the FRA’s full Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) accepted recommendations from the passenger safety working group to include removable panels or windows in vestibule doors for new passenger cars on trains traveling less than 125 mph (Tier I passenger equipment). At that time, the FRA anticipated publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with additional requirements for signage and emergency lighting by August 31, 2009; this anticipated publication date, however, was not met, and the NPRM has not yet been published. The NTSB notes that the FRA’s Small Business Innovative Research Program continues to research the possibility of incorporating either removable windows or kick panels in end-frame doors, such as those on cab cars, without reducing the structures’ ability to prevent object and liquid penetration. The intent of Safety Recommendation R-97-15 was for all passenger cars to have a suitable means for emergency exiting through the interior and exterior passageway doors, not only new passenger cars; therefore, the FRA’s planned actions will not meet the objective of the recommendation. Consequently, Safety Recommendation R-97-15 is classified OPEN -- UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE pending the FRA’s reconsideration and inclusion of all passenger cars in its plans for providing improved emergency exits as recommended.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 5/26/2009
Response:

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/20/2009
Response: MC# 2090325 - From Joseph Szabo, Administrator: On May 12, 1999, FRA issued Passenger Equipment Safety Standards for rail passenger service that addressed kick-out panels for trains traveling 125 to 150 miles per hour (Tier 1 passenger equipment). Egress through doors and windows was also addressed for Tier I passenger equipment. On February 1,2008, FRA issued a final rule that further addressed emergency egress and rescue access requirements, together with other emergency systems. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has also adopted and maintained complementary private standards and recommended practices. The end result has been substantial improvements in the emergency systems actually deployed, particularly for new passenger equipment. FRA will be publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) by August 3 1,2009, to incorporate the further recommendations of the Passenger Safety Working Group that were accepted by the full Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) on February 20,2008. Those recommendations include removable panels or windows in vestibule doors for new passenger cars. Additional requirements will further address signage and emergency lighting. In addition, FRA’s Small Business Innovative Research Program continues to research viability of integrating removable panels/windows capable of meeting Federal glazing standards into end-frame doors. The objective is to provide auxiliary egress capacity without reducing the ability of the front end structure to prevent entry of objects and liquids into the occupied space. The FRA respectfully requests that NTSB continue to classify Safety Recommendation R-97-15 as “Open-Acceptable Response.”

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 7/21/2004
Response: On 7/21/2004, Board staff met with FRA staff to discuss this recommendation. The discussion was led by David Mao and Brenda Moscoso. FRA issued regulations governing Passenger Equipment Safety Standards for rail passenger service in the Federal Register May 12, 1999. Part 238, Passenger Equipment Safety Standards, Section 439, has a regulation for kick-out panels and pop out windows for Tier II equipment (trains operated at speeds between 125-150 mph) but not for Tier I equipment (less than 125 mph). The FRA has formed a Passenger Train Emergency Preparedness Task Force to assist in the development of such regulations. The Task Force is moving forward on Phase II of the Passenger Equipment Safety Standards. FRA will focus on formulating a systems approach to emergency egress that provides for a sufficient number of emergency exits to evacuate the maximum passengers in an emergency situation. FRA requests Safety Recommendation R-97-15 remain classified "Open-Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 7/16/2002
Response: The Safety Board notes that in Phase II of the Passenger Equipment Safety Standards rulemaking that is scheduled to begin later this year or early next year, the FRA will further consider, with the FRA's Passenger Equipment Safety Standards Working Group, ways to implement the Board's recommendation in Tier I passenger equipment. Tier II equipment was addressed in the final rule that resulted from Phase I of the rulemaking. We also note that the FRA, in conjunction with the Working Group, will consider whether to impose a requirement for a roof hatch or structural weak point in the roofs of Tier I equipment to provide quick access for emergency response personnel, similar to the requirement for Tier II passenger equipment. Given the FRA's commitment to addressing this issue, Safety Recommendation R-97-15 remains classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE pending completion of Phase II action.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/2/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 04/17/2002 8:43:00 AM MC# 2020403 - From Allan Rutter, Administrator: The Safety Board is correct that the final rule did not contain the same requirements for Tier I equipment that were included for Tier II equipment. The Tier II equipment requirements provided for kick panels and pop out windows in doors in the event that they will not open and required a roof hatch or soft spot in the roof to provide quick access for emergency responders. FRA considered Safety Recommendation R-97-l5 with the assistance of FRA's Passenger Equipment Safety Standards Working Group with a view to incorporating the recommendation into the safety standards then under development. As explained in FRA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on Passenger Equipment Safety Standards, FRA believed that the Safety Board's recommendation to install kick panels, pop-out windows, or provide other means of egress through interior and exterior passageway doors was best limited to interior doors to ensure passage through a train in an emergency-and not applied to exterior doors. See 62 FR 49735; September 23, 1997. In particular, FRA noted that passenger railroads have encountered recurring situations in which passengers have inappropriately exited moving trains, leading to death or serious injury. In response to such events, FRA has worked with Amtrak and other operators to secure rear doors on passenger consists. FRA did recognize that passenger compartment end doors that allow movement from car to car play a critical role, because using these end doors to evacuate a car is the preferred mode of evacuation in most cases. However, FRA believed that implementing this aspect of the Safety Board's recommendation in Phase I of the rulemaking was more appropriately suited for passenger compartment end doors in Tier II passenger equipment, and it was adopted into the regulations at 49 CFR Section 238.439(f). Unlike a Tier II passenger train which should operate as a fixed unit, the interchangeable use of some cab cars and MU locomotives as leading and trailing units in Tier I passenger trains complicates analyzing the efficacy of installing such features in Tier I passenger equipment. It would be unacceptable to have a door with a removable panel at a point where objects or fluids may enter the vehicle as a result of a highway grade crossing accident or other collision. Further, Tier I locomotive-hauled cars are normally used interchangeably, with the potential that any end door could be at the rear of the consist. FRA notes that features such as kick panels and pop-out windows in passenger compartment end doors would be elements of a larger systems approach to passenger car evacuation that the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center has been investigating. This systems approach takes into consideration the interrelationship between features such as door and window exits, signs that indicate and facilitate the use of the door and window exits, and emergency lighting to promote passenger evacuating in a life-threatening situation. In Phase II of the Passenger Equipment Safety Standards rulemaking, that is scheduled to commence either later this year or early next year, FRA will further consider with the Working Group ways to implement the Safety Board's recommendation in Tier I passenger equipment to promote passenger evacuation from a car. Likewise, FRA will further consider with the Working Group whether to impose a requirement for a roof hatch or structural weak point in the roofs of Tier I passenger equipment to provide quick access for emergency response personnel, similar to the requirement for Tier II passenger equipment at 49 CFR Section 238.441. There was no consensus within the Working Group to impose such a requirement on Tier I passenger equipment in Phase I of the rulemaking. Nonetheless, FRA believes that the Passenger Equipment Safety Standards and Train Emergency Preparedness final rules have substantially enhanced passenger safety and the ability to evacuate a passenger car in an emergency.

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 7/27/2001
Response: The final rule separated specific requirements into two separate "tiers." Tier I was defined as "operating at speeds not exceeding 125 mph." Tier II was defined as "operating at speeds exceeding 125 mph but not exceeding 150 mph." The final rule provides for Tier II passenger cars to be equipped with a kick-out panel, pop-out window, or other similar means of egress in the event the door will not open, or designed so as to pose a negligible probability of becoming inoperable in the event of a car body distortion following a collision or derailment. For Tier II equipment, the final rule also provides for at least one emergency roof hatch or structural weak point to provide quick access for properly equipped emergency response personnel. The Safety Board questions why no provisions were made for Tier I equipment in the final rule and would appreciate receiving an explanation of the FRA's rationale for not including this equipment. We would also appreciate being informed if the FRA plans to address emergency exiting through the interior and exterior passageway doors in existing and new passenger cars categorized as Tier I equipment through other means. Pending a further response from the FRA, Safety Recommendation R-97-15 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 3/12/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 03/19/2001 10:42:56 AM MC# 2010231 - From S. Mark Lindsey, Acting Deputy Administrator: After FRA's initial response, and before the Board's September 30, 1999 reply, FRA published a Final Rule for 49 CFR Part 238, "Passenger Equipment Safety Standards," in the Federal Register dated May 12, 1999. The rule became effective July 12, 1999. As you are aware, the construction of the Final Rule separated specific requirements into two separate "tiers." Tier I was defined as "operating at speeds not exceeding 125 mph." Tier II was defined as "operating at speeds exceeding 125 mph but not exceeding 150 mph." Subpart C of the Final Rule contains "Specific Requirements for Tier I Passenger Equipment," and Subpart E contains "Specific Requirements for Tier II Passenger Equipment." Initially within the NPRM, FRA had proposed separate sections for emergency window exit requirements for removable windows for Tier I and for Tier II passenger equipment. In the Final Rule, FRA has combined these separate sections, principally in response to the Board's comment on the proposed rule that these requirements should not be differentiated on the basis of train speed. Therefore, within Subpart B, "Safety Planning and General Requirements," of the Final Rule, appropriate to all Tier I and Tier II passenger equipment, is new 0 238.113 Emergency window exits, as quoted below: "Section 23 8.113 Emergency window exits. (a) The following requirements apply on or after November 8, 1999- (1) Each passenger car shall have a minimum of four emergency window exits, either in a staggered configuration where practical or with one exit located in each end of each side of the passenger car. If the passenger car has multiple levels, each main level shall have a minimum of four emergency window exits, either in a staggered configuration where practical or with one exit located in each end of each side on each level. (2) Each sleeping car, and any similarly designed car having a number of separate compartments intended to be occupied by passengers or train crewmembers, shall have at least one emergency window exit in each compartment. (3) Each emergency window exit shall be designed to permit rapid and easy removal during an emergency situation without requiring the use of a tool or other implement.(b) Each emergency window exit in a passenger car, including a sleeper car, ordered on or after September 8, 2000, or placed in service for the first time on or after September 9,2002, shall have a minimum unobstructed opening with dimensions of 26 inches horizontally by 24 inches vertically. In consideration of the concept of kick panels in this safety recommendation, FRA believed that the Board's recommendation to install kick panels had merit for emergency egress when applied to interior doors. However, FRA felt a probability of increased safety risks would exist if this concept were applied to exterior doors. For Tier I passenger equipment, the Final Rule does not include any provisions for kick panels for emergency exiting through the interior and exterior passageway doors where the door could impede passengers exiting in an emergency. For Tier II passenger equipment, Subpart E of the Final Rule contains a provision that does address that portion of the recommendation relating to kick panels. This is found at paragraph (f) of 4 238.439 Doors, within Subpart E, as quoted below: "Section 238.439 Doors. (f) A passenger compartment end door (other than a door providing access to the exterior of a trainset) shall be equipped with a kick-out panel, pop-out window, or other similar means of egress in the event the door will not open, or shall be so designed as to pose a negligible probability of becoming inoperable in the event of a car body distortion following a collision or derailment." Another provision for Tier II passenger equipment that provides a suitable means for emergency extraction of passengers is found in Subpart E of the Final Rule at 0 238.441 Emergency roof entrance location. This new rule is quoted below: "Section 238.439 Doors. (f) A passenger compartment end door (other than a door providing access to the exterior of a trainset) shall be equipped with a kick-out panel, pop-out window, or other similar means of egress in the event the door will not open, or shall be so designed as to pose a negligible probability of becoming inoperable in the event of a car body distortion following a collision or derailment." Another provision for Tier II passenger equipment that provides a suitable means for emergency extraction of passengers is found in Subpart E of the Final Rule at 0 238.441 Emergency roof entrance location. This new rule is quoted below: "§ 238.441 Emergency roof entrance location. (a) Each passenger car and power car cab shall have a minimum of one roof hatch emergency entrance location with a minimum opening of 18 inches by 24 inches, or at least one clearly marked structural weak point in the roof having a minimum opening of the same dimensions to provide quick access for properly equipped emergency response personnel." Based on the actions FRA has taken, we respectfully request the Board to consider classifying Safety Recommendation R-97-l5 as "Closed-Acceptable Action."

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/25/1998
Response: MC# 980259: Does not address this recommendation.