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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-97-024
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 FTA: COOPERATE WITH THE FRA FOR REQUIRING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF POSITIVE TRAIN SEPARATION CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR ALL TRAINS WHERE COMMUTER & INTERCITY PASSENGER RAILROADS OPERATE.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable
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: 10/29/2001
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FTA (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s): Positive Train Control

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FTA
Date: 10/29/2001
Response: The Safety Board responded to the FTA by letter dated April 4, 1998, classifying Safety Recommendations R-97-23 and -24 "Open--Acceptable Response" in recognition of the FTA's pledge to cooperate with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on the issues addressed in these recommendations. Similar Safety Recommendations (R-97-12 and R-97-13) were made to the FRA. On February 25, 1999, the FRA responded to the Board that, with respect to R-97-12, the FRA had decided to wait until positive train control systems became available rather than require alternative redundant systems. Accordingly, the Board classified R-97-12 "Closed--Unacceptable Action." Also, on May 1, 2001, at its public Board meeting, for the accident report Collision Involving Three Consolidated Rail Corporation Freight Trains Operating in Fog at Bryan, Ohio, January 17, 1999, the Board reclassified Safety Recommendation R-97-13 "Closed--Acceptable Action/Superseded" by Safety Recommendation R?01?6, issued to the FRA, stated below. R-01-6 Facilitate actions necessary for development and implementation of positive train control systems that include collision avoidance, and require implementation of positive train control systems on main line tracks, establishing priority requirements for high-risk corridors such as those where commuter and intercity passenger railroads operate. Given that the Safety Board has placed both of the companion recommendations to the FRA in a "Closed" status, Safety Recommendations R-97-23 and -24 to the FTA are classified "Closed--No Longer Applicable." In so classifying the recommendations, the Safety Board notes that the FTA does not have the legal authority to require the implementation of positive train control, but has indicated that it would, where possible, encourage the installation of improved signal equipment on commuter rail lines.

From: NTSB
To: FTA
Date: 4/2/1998
Response: THE BOARD AGAIN WELCOMES THE FTA'S PLEDGE TO COOPERATE WITH THE FRA & THE FTA'S ENCOURAGEMENT FOR COMMUTER RAIL AUTHORITIES TO PRIORITIZE THEIR USE OF THE APPROPRIATE SIGNAL SYSTEMS. BASED ON THE FTA'S PLEDGE OF FUTURE COOPERATION, THE BOARD HAS CLASSIFIED R-97-24 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FTA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/28/1997
Response: FTA ADMINISTRATOR GORDON LINTON RESPONDED ON 10/28/97, THAT IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHEREIN THE FTA EXERCISES ITS AUTHORITY TO MANDATE THE INSTALLATION OF CAB SIGNALS, AUTOMATIC TRAIN STOP, AUTHOMATIC TRAIN CONTROL, OR OTHER SIMILAR SIGNAL SYSTEMS INVOLVING COMMUTER RAIL OPERATIONS FUNDED BY THE FTA, THE FTA WILL ENCOURAGE COMMUTER RAIL AUTHORITIES, AGENCIES & LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO PRIORITIZE THEIR USE OF AVAILABLE FEDERAL TRANSIT FUNDS, BOTH FORMULA & DISCRETIONARY,TO INSTALL APPROPRIATE SIGNAL SYSTEMS. THE FTA WILL COOPERATE WITH THE FRA IN ENCOURAGING THE INSTALLATION OF IMPROVED SIGNAL EQUIPMENT ON COMMUTER RAIL LINES BUT CANNOT LEGALLY REQUIRE SUCH.