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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-99-027
Details
Synopsis: ON 3/25/98, ABOUT 4:48 A.M. EASTERN STANDARD TIME, SOUTHBOUND NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION (NORFOLK SOUTHERN) TRAIN 255L5, WHICH WAS EN ROUTE TO FORT WAYNE, IN, STRUCK EASTBOUND CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION (CONRAIL) TRAIN TV 220, WHICH WAS EN ROUTE TO COLUMBUS, OH. THE COLLISION OCCURRED WHERE THE NORFOLK SOUTHERN HUNTINGTON DISTRICT AND THE CONRAIL CHICAGO MAIN LINES CROSS AT GRADE AT THE EAST END OF THE TOWN OF BUTLER, IN. BOTH LOCOMOTIVES AND FIVE CARS FROM THE NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN DERAILED, AND THREE CARS FROM THE CONRAIL TRAIN, TWO WITH MULTIPLE STACKED PLATFORMS, DERAILED. THE NORFOLK SOUTHERN CONDUCTOR WAS KILLED; THE ENGINEER AND STUDENT ENGINEER SUSTAINED MINOR INJURIES. THE TWO CONRAIL CREMEMBERS WERE NOT INJURED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS: IN COOPERATION WITH THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION, THE CLASS I RAILROADS, THE AMERICAN SHORT LINE AND REGIONAL RAILROAD ASSOCIATION, AND THE UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION, DEVELOP, FOR ALL TRAIN CREWMEMBERS, TRAIN CREW RESOURCE MANAGEMENT TRAINING THAT ADDRESSES, AT A MINIMUM: CREWMEMBER PROFICIENCY, SITUATIONAL AWARENESS, EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND TEAMWORK, AND STRATEGIES FOR APPROPRIATELY CHALLENGING AND QUESTIONING AUTHORITY.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Butler, IN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: CHI98FR009
Accident Reports: Collision of Norfolk Southern Corporation Train 255L5 with Consolidated Rail Corporation Train TV 220
Report #: RAR-99-02
Accident Date: 3/25/1998
Issue Date: 7/29/1999
Date Closed: 6/10/2003
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Crew Resource Management, Training and Education

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
Date: 6/10/2003
Response: The Safety Board appreciates the comprehensive update of projects related to training in which the BLE is actively participating and commends the BLE for its efforts to work on the activities and promote the concept of CRM training. The Board believes that the railroad industry has made great strides since the Butler, Indiana, accident in the development of CRM training. Safety Board staff has reviewed the video training program, workbook, and training modules addressing CRM training that have been developed and distributed to all class I and regional railroads. We are also aware through communication with the FRA that further refinements to CRM training will be realized from ongoing research. In consideration of these activities, the Board believes that the objective of Safety Recommendation R-99-27 has been met; accordingly, the recommendation is now classified "Closed--Acceptable Action." The Safety Board acknowledges your concerns related to remotely controlled locomotives. The Board has not yet investigated an accident involving remotely controlled locomotives and, at this time, we do not have a position on this issue. The Board will, however, monitor incident information related to remotely controlled locomotives, and we would appreciate the BLE's keeping us informed of any event and/or trend data related to incidents involving remotely controlled locomotives.

From: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
To: NTSB
Date: 3/28/2003
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 4/10/2003 3:54:46 PM MC# 2030200 BLE considers the recommendations made in R-99-27 to be of the utmost importance. Our members both desire training in the areas specifically mentioned in the recommendation and have long sought empowerment to question authority dictated by persons who may or may not possess the requisite knowledge and skill to perform the work Locomotive Engineers are required to do. In addition, Locomotive Engineers welcome the opportunity to work with others, regardless of how a crew may be defined, be it Train Dispatchers, Roadway Workers, non-operating personnel, or other Operating Employees. The fact is Locomotive Engineers welcome the assistance others may provide. To that end, BLE has worked in every available forum offered to address crew resource management as outlined in the recommendations. BLE has, on its own initiative, attempted to fulfill the recommendations of R-99-27. These efforts include the following: · Education, Information, and Empowerment (EIE) to address fatigue and crew utilization. (More detail available on request). · BLE driven Safety Assurance and Compliance Program (SACP) initiatives to improve information and communication involving Train Bulletins and Advanced Placement of Warning Signs to protect track conditions and Roadway Workers. · BLE is in the process of developing a "signal calling" initiative on one major railroad that would significantly increase communication and teamwork. · BLE participation in CRM on railroads that have offered partnership.

From: NTSB
To: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
Date: 3/17/2003
Response: This recommendation has been classified "Open-Acceptable Response" since April 11, 2000, when the Safety Board noted the BLE's initiative to invite all parties to discuss this issue. In that letter, the Board requested to be kept informed of activities related to the recommendation. A follow-up letter was sent to the BLE on October 26, 2001, again requesting an update. The Safety Board is aware of some ongoing industry efforts to address crew resource management training, and we are also aware, through correspondence with individual railroads, that crew resource management training has been implemented on some properties. We are still interested in learning of BLE's involvement in this area and efforts to ensure that all railroads embrace the concept of this training. The Safety Board, therefore, again requests an update from the BLE on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in maintaining constructive dialogue with the BLE on important safety issues that are of mutual interest to our organizations. However, if we do not receive a response, we will have no alternative but to classify this recommendation "Closed--Unacceptable Action." In the meantime, however, R-99-27 remains classified "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
Date: 10/26/2001
Response: The BLE's February 25, 2000, letter indicated that the BLE had invited all parties listed in the recommendation to facilitate discussions. The Safety Board requested in its letter of April 11, 2000, to be kept informed of activities related to Safety Recommendation R-99-27 that in the interim was classified "Open--Acceptable Response." The Safety Board would appreciate being informed of what specific actions, if any, have been taken or are planned to implement Safety Recommendation R-99-27. A copy of the recommendation letter is enclosed. The Board is vitally interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. That is why we monitor the implementation of all our recommendations. Please address your response to Ms. Marion C. Blakey, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, and refer to the recommendations by number.

From: NTSB
To: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
Date: 4/11/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT THE BLE IS PLEDGING ITS FULL COOPERATION AND THAT IT HAS EXTENDED AN INVITATION TO ALL PARTIES LISTED IN THE RECOMMENDATION TO FACILITATE DISCUSSIONS. PLEASE KEEP US INFORMED OF ACTIVITIES IN RESPONSE TO THIS RECOMMENDATION. IN THE INTERIM, THE SAFETY BOARD HAS CLASSIFIED R-99-27 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
To: NTSB
Date: 2/25/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 03/06/2000 4:04:13 PM MC# 2000356 THE BLE HAS AN OPEN DOOR POLICY ON ISSUES OF SAFETY AND WILL, IN A SPIRIT OF FULL COOPERATION, PARTICIPATE IN MEANINGFUL DISCUSSIONS ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE NTSB. IT IS OUR UNDERSTANDING THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS (AAR) HAS PREPARED A VIDEO TAPE PRESENTATION ON THE SUBJECT OF CREW RESOURCE MANAGEMENT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO ITS MEMBERS. WHEN THEY HAVE COMPLETED THAT EFFORT IT MAY BE AN APPROPRIATE TIME TO MEET TO DISCUSS THESE ISSUES. THE BLE'S WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE IS LOCATED NEAR UNION STATION AT THE ABOVE ADDRESS. THE OFFICE HAS A MEETING ROOM THAT WILL ACCOMMODATE 10-15 PERSONS. BY COPY OF THIS LETTER WE EXTEND AN INVITATION TO ALL PARTIES LISTED IN THE RECOMMENDATION TO ATTEND A PLANNING MEETING TO DETERMINE HOW BEST TO PROCEED. THE BLE LOOKS FORWARD TO WORKING WITH ALL PARTIES TO CREATE SAFER RAILROADS. AMERICAN SHORT LINE AND REGIONAL RAILROAD ASSOCIATION UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION.