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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-99-003
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 12:37 P.M. EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME ON SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 1998, 30 OF THE 148 CARS MAKING UP EASTBOUND CSX TRAIN Q316 DERAILED NEAR MILEPOST (MP) 207.9 AT COX LANDING, WV. OF THE DERAILED CARS, THREE WERE LOADED WITH HAZARDOUS MATERIAL, AND EIGHT OTHERS CONTAINED HAZARDOUS MATERIAL RESIDUE. TWO OF THE LOADED CARS WERE DAMAGED IN THE PILEUP AND LEAKED A COMBINED VOLUME OF ABOUT 21,500 GALLONS OF FORMALDEHYDE SOLUTION. NO ONE WAS INJURED DURING THE DERAILMENT OF THE TRAIN; HOWEVER, 15 PERSONS REPORTED MINOR INJURIES AS A RESULT OF THE RELEASE OF FORMALDEHYDE. TOTAL DAMAGES IN THE ACCIDENT EXCEEDED $2.6 MILLION.
Recommendation: NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION: REVIEW BOTH THE IMPLEMENTATION AND THE MANAGEMENT OVERSIGHT OF CSX TRANSPORTATION'S TRACK INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS FOR THE OHIO RIVER SUBDIVISION AND TAKE THE ACTIONS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THE SAFE PASSAGE OF TRAINS AND THE SAFE SHIPMENT OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS THROUGH THE AREA.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: cox landing, WV, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: ATL98FR021
Accident Reports: Derailment of CSX Freight Train Q316 and Subsequent Hazardous Material Release
Report #: RAR-99-01
Accident Date: 6/20/1998
Issue Date: 7/16/1999
Date Closed: 5/14/2002
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Hazmat

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 5/14/2002
Response: The Safety Board notes that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has continued to monitor and evaluate the track inspection and maintenance activity on the Ohio River Subdivision, as well as on the entire CSXT system. Specifically, the two compliance agreements between CSXT and the FRA were designed to further monitor the effectiveness of track inspection and maintenance programs and to ensure that the improvements to these programs were established on a systemwide basis. The FRA believes that the steps taken by CSXT have reduced the possibility of track-related derailments and have increased the safety of hazardous materials shipments. In view of the comprehensive measures implemented by the FRA and the CSXT in this area, Safety Recommendation R-99-3 is classified "Closed-Acceptable Action." The Safety Board appreciates the detailed response to our inquiry. The FRA is to be commended for its efforts in working with the CSXT and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way employees on this safety issue.

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/8/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 02/12/2002 5:53:28 PM MC# 2020146 This letter is to provide updated information concerning the National Transportation Safety Board's (Safety Board) Safety Recommendation R-99-3, which was transmitted to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) by former Chairman Hall in his letter of July 16, 1999. Safety Recommendation R-99-3 arose from the Safety Board's investigation of a derailment involving CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) freight train Q316 near Cox Landing, West Virginia, on June 20, 1998, and read as follows: Review both the implementation and the management oversight of CSX Transportation's track inspection and maintenance programs for the Ohio River Subdivision and take the actions necessary to ensure the safe passage of trains and the safe shipment of hazardous materials through the area. In our letter dated October 6, 1999, FRA provided its initial reply to Safety Recommendation R-99-3. We advised that shortly after the derailment of CSXT freight train Q316 occurred, FRA began working closely with representatives of CSXT management, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, and the Office of Congressman Bob Wise of West Virginia. A public meeting was conducted in Huntington, West Virginia, in the fall of 1998, to discuss the rail safety issues on the CSXT Ohio River Subdivision. This meeting resulted in a partnership being formed between representatives of CSXT management, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, and FRA. The purpose of this partnership was to discuss and resolve the rail safety issues involved. Additionally, FRA instituted a Safety Assurance and Compliance Program Manpower Initiative with CSXT to determine if there were adequate numbers of track maintenance forces in place to perform the required maintenance. Former Chairman Hall advised FRA in his letter of March 29, 2000, that the Safety Board was "pleased to learn that" FRA had "reviewed CSXT's track inspection and maintenance programs for the Ohio River Subdivision." He also noted "that some of the conditions and issues raised were found to have relevance to systemwide conditions that CSXT [was] correcting," and "[b]efore the Safety Board will consider closing this recommendation," the Safety Board requested "an evaluation by [FRA] of the actions taken by CSXT in response to FRA's concerns and recommendations." Since our last exchange of correspondence, FRA has continued to monitor and evaluate the track inspection and maintenance program activity on the Ohio River Subdivision, as well as on the CSXT System in its entirety. Following the identification of track improvements needed on the Ohio River Subdivision, CSXT, in cooperation with the "Targeted Safety Zone Committee" established by Congressman Wise's office, placed into effect additional measures to ensure safety over the line until such time as the track improvements could be accomplished. These measures included restricting the speed of trains in safety-critical locations, daily visual track inspections, and more frequent inspections for the detection of internal rail defects. As of this writing, CSXT has installed approximately 94,000 new ties, replaced approximately 76 miles of rail, and surfaced approximately 317 miles of track since the derailment of train Q316 on June 20, 1998. Additionally, drainage facilities were improved at selected locations along this track segment. Inadequate drainage was seen by the Safety Board as the primary causal factor in the derailment of train Q316. On a broader scale, some of the conditions and practices which were apparent on the Ohio River Subdivision were also apparent at other locations on CSXT and indicated problems which were systemic in nature. As a result of these findings, FRA and CSXT entered into a Compliance Agreement in April 2000, which required CSXT to take specific actions to improve the effectiveness of their track inspection and maintenance programs. A major element of the Compliance Agreement was the requirement for CSXT to institute management oversight procedures designed to establish levels of accountability within the Engineering Department. FRA's monitoring of the Compliance Agreement disclosed a marked improvement in CSXT's overall inspection and maintenance programs, as well as the development of management oversight and quality control procedures to monitor these programs. With the expiration of the original Compliance Agreement in April 2001, FRA and CSXT entered into another Agreement in May 2001, which is designed to further monitor the effectiveness of track inspection and maintenance programs and to ensure that the improvements made to these programs have sufficient time to take root within the Engineering Department on a systemwide basis. FRA considers the steps taken by CSXT to improve the quality of its track structure on the Ohio River Subdivision have greatly reduced the possibility of future track-related derailments, and have increased the element of safety for the shipment of hazardous materials and other commodities through this area. FRA further believes that the actions taken by CSXT to address FRA's concerns and recommendations relating to track conditions on a systemwide basis are being seriously pursued in accordance with the terms of the Compliance Agreement between CSXT and FRA. Based upon the information provided herein, FRA requests the Safety Board consider reclassification of Safety Recommendation R-99-3 to "Closed-Acceptable Action."

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 3/29/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT THE FRA, IN COOPERATION WITH CSXT'S MANAGEMENT AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAINTENANCE OF WAY EMPLOYEES, HAS REVIEWED CSXT'S TRACK INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS FOR THE OHIO RIVER SUBDIVISION. WE NOTE THAT CSXT HAS STATED THAT IT IS IN GENERAL AGREEMENT WITH THE GROUP'S CONCLUSIONS. WE ALSO NOTE THAT SOME OF THE CONDITIONS AND ISSUES RAISED WERE FOUND TO HAVE RELEVANCE TO SYSTEMWIDE CONDITIONS THAT CSXT IS CORRECTING. BEFORE THE SAFETY BOARD WILL CONSIDER CLOSING THIS RECOMMENDATION, WE REQUEST AN EVALUATION BY YOUR AGENCY OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN BY CSXT IN RESPONSE TO THE FRA'S CONCERNS AND RECOMMENDATIONS. PENDING ASSURANCES THAT THE FRA CONSIDERS CSXT'S ACTIONS WILL ENSURE THE SAFE PASSAGE OF TRAINS AND THE SAFE SHIPMENT OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS THROUGH THE AREA, THE SAFETY BOARD HAS CLASSIFIED R-99-3 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 10/6/1999
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/12/99 8:57:38 AM MC# 991120 FRA HAS BEEN WORKING CLOSELY WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF CSXT MANAGEMENT AND LABOR, AND THE OFFICE OF CONGRESSMAN BOB WISE OF WEST VIRGINIA. A PARTNERSHIP CONSISTING OF CSXT MANAGEMENT, THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAINTENANCE OF WAY EMPLOYES, AND FRA WAS FORMED TO SOLVE SAFETY ISSUES. FRA ALSO INSTITUTED ITS FIRST SAFETY ASSURANCE AND COMPLIANCE PROGRAM (SACP) MANPOWER INITIATIVE WITH CSXT. CSXT HAS SUBMITTED A SAFETY ACTION PLAN (SAP) ALSO ENCLOSED, DESCRIBING WHAT MEASURES IT WILL TAKE TO CORRECT ROADWAY MAINTENANCE DEFICIENCIES, INCLUDING SYSTEMIC ROADBED DRAINAGE PROBLEMS. FRA WILL MONITOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE SAP THROUGH FOLLOW-UP SITE-SPECIFIC SAFETY AUDITS. FRA APPRECIATES THE NTSB'S ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS. FRA HAS INITIATED ACTIONS TO ADDRESS THE SYSTEMIC SAFETY ISSUES THAT WERE DISCLOSED BY THIS DERAILMENT.