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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-16-046
Details
Synopsis: On August 17, 2014, at 2:28 a.m. central daylight time, southbound Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight train IMASNL-16 (southbound train) collided with northbound UP freight train IQNLPI-17 (northbound train) at milepost 228.6, while traversing the turnout at control point Y 229 on the UP Hoxie subdivision in Hoxie, Arkansas. Going north, the track in the area transitions from a single main track into two main tracks. As a result of the collision, the engineer and the conductor from the southbound train died, and the engineer and the conductor from the northbound train were seriously injured. The southbound train consisted of 2 locomotives and 86 cars; the northbound train consisted of 2 locomotives and 92 cars. The locomotives from both trains derailed and the second locomotive from the northbound train released diesel fuel, resulting in a fire. A total of 55 cars derailed, 41 cars from the southbound train and 14 cars from the northbound train. About 500 people within a 1.5-mile radius of the derailment were evacuated as a precaution. One tank car loaded with alcohol for human consumption breached and burned. The product posed no environmental hazard and emergency responders allowed the product to burn out. Damage was estimated by UP to be $10.7 million. The safety issues covered in this report include: fatigue and employee work schedules, medical issues, UP medical rules, automated systems that reset alertness devices, and positive train control. As a result of the investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board makes new safety recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration; BNSF Railway, Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern Railway, Intercity Railroads, and Commuter Railroads; Class I Railroads; and Union Pacific Railroad. Further, the National Transportation Safety Board reiterates two recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration.
Recommendation: TO CLASS I RAILROADS: Revise your scheduling practices for train crews and implement science-based tools, such as validated biomathematical models, to reduce start time variability that results in irregular work-rest cycles and fatigue.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Await Response
Mode: Railroad
Location: Hoxie, AR, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA14FR011
Accident Reports: Railroad Accident Report: Collision of Two Union Pacific Railroad Freight Trains
Report #: RAR-16-03
Accident Date: 8/17/2014
Issue Date: 1/24/2017
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: BNSF Railway Company (formerly Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company) (Open - Acceptable Response)
Canadian National Railway (Open - Await Response)
Canadian Pacific Railway (Open - Await Response)
CSX Transportation, Inc. (Open - Await Response)
Kansas City Southern Railway Company (Open - Await Response)
Norfolk Southern Corporation (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Union Pacific (Open - Unacceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: BNSF Railway Company (formerly Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company)
Date: 6/10/2019
Response: We note that you use advanced crew planning technology to align crew needs with BNSF’s operations. In support of this approach, you use the Fatigue Audit InterDyne (FAID) biomathematical model to maximize predictability and minimize the potential for work related fatigue, and you have implemented predictive work scheduling (“PWS”) agreements at some locations across your system. Implementing PWS agreements across your entire system should help reduce the incidence of fatigue due to irregular or overly demanding work schedules. Accordingly, pending implementation of PWS agreements across the entire BNSF system, Safety Recommendation R 16 46 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: BNSF Railway Company (formerly Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company)
To: NTSB
Date: 4/3/2018
Response: -From Ryan E. Ringelman, General Director System Safety: BNSF, likewise, appreciates the opportunity to highlight its approach to scheduling of train crews. As noted in previous responses to #DCA11FR002, BNSF has long been a leader in work force planning using a comprehensive approach to plan work which goes beyond simply scheduling crews. BNSF's approach to workforce planning, includes innovative work scheduling, advanced operational consistency and the leveraging of technology to enable work predictability. This planned approach creates a more consistent and efficient operation, which in tum, provides operating crews with more predictable work activities, less variability in work schedules and more meaningful opportunities for time away from work. Along with BNSF's technology enabled crew communications, this approach significantly improves employee work-rest opportunities and reduces work related fatigue at BNSF. As previously noted, BNSF has implemented Predictive Work Scheduling ("PWS") agreements at some locations across its system and continues to pursue and implement innovative scheduling where labor organizations are agreeable. An example of this approach is BNSF's PWS agreement with SMART Transportation Division and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen ("BLET") to create a multidirectional operating plan for over the road train service west of Mandan, ND to Glendive, MT and east of Mandan to Dilworth, ND. With the ability to schedule multidirectional operation out of Mandan, employees under this agreement are given targeted on-duty times at their home terminal for 8-12 week periods (employees can be called during a 4-hour window; 2 hours prior to or after planned on-duty time). This work force plan provides for crews to work 2 round trips, followed by a 48-hour rest period prior to the next home start. As a result of PWS plans, like the one at Mandan, crews achieve significantly increased on-duty predictability and consistency in work assignments. To improve the consistency and predictability of its operations, BNSF has also implemented advanced operating plans at multiple locations across its system. These plans reduce operating variability, improve predictability for crew activities and duty times and significantly reduce the need to use supplemental crews to perfo1m operations. Together, these changes support BNSF's programmatic workforce planning approach to drive more consistent operations and work experiences for BNSF transportation crews, again reducing crew work-rest variability. BNSF crew management also uses advanced crew planning technology to better align the planning of crew needs with BNSF's operations. Automated crew planning technology is enabled to promote longer-te1m operational expectations, which means over the road operations are more consistent, leading to less reliance on relief or deadhead crew operations. This approach, using multi-dimensional planning of crew resources, further reduces crew location variability and, ultimately, creates more efficiency in BNSF's operation. Supporting this approach, BNSF uses the biomathematical tool, Fatigue Audit InterDyne ("FAID") as one input to automated crew planning. The FAID model uses biomathematical analysis and scoring of work plans to maximize predictability and minimize the potential for work related fatigue. Finally, to provide better engagement and increased work event visibility to crews, BNSF continues to progress development and implementation of advanced communication methods. BNSF developed and deployed technology platforms which allow its crews, through mobile device ready technology, to receive work notifications, manage work scheduling transactions and plan for their work-rest coordination. Additionally, BNSF developed and implemented mobility applications for use by its operating employees which enable enhanced communication opportunities between crews, planners and supervisors, including direct messaging. Mobility applications provide crews the mobile ability to engage and communicate across multiple operational platf01ms, including work reporting, hours of service planning, and fatigue identification and mitigation. These applications provide crews easy, portable and accessible access to relevant information which improves crew execution of work related tasks and assignments and improves crew engagement in the planning process. With these actions, BNSF respectfully requests that R-16-46 is classified as "Closed Acceptable Response". Again, BNSF appreciates the opportunity to provide more information on its programs and approaches to the identified recommendations. We remain ready and willing to discuss these responses in greater depth with the NTSB team.

From: NTSB
To: BNSF Railway Company (formerly Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company)
Date: 1/24/2017
Response: On December 19, 2016, we adopted our report concerning the August 17, 2014, accident, in which two Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight trains collided on the UP Hoxie subdivision in Hoxie, Arkansas.1 Additional information about this accident and the resulting recommendations may be found in the report of the investigation, which can be accessed at our website, http://www.ntsb.gov, under report number RAR-16/03. As a result of this investigation, we reiterated Safety Recommendations R-13-21 and R-12-16 to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA); and issued five new recommendations, including two to the FRA, one to UP, and the following recommendation to Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway, Intercity Railroads, Commuter Railroads, and the BNSF Railway Company.

From: NTSB
To: Canadian National Railway
Date: 1/24/2017
Response: On December 19, 2016, we adopted our report concerning the August 17, 2014, accident, in which two Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight trains collided on the UP Hoxie subdivision in Hoxie, Arkansas.1 Additional information about this accident and the resulting recommendations may be found in the report of the investigation, which can be accessed at our website, http://www.ntsb.gov, under report number RAR-16/03. As a result of this investigation, we reiterated Safety Recommendations R-13-21 and R-12-16 to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA); and issued five new recommendations, including two to the FRA, one to UP, one to the Class I Railroads, and the following recommendation to BNSF Railway, Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Intercity Railroads, and Commuter Railroads, including Alaska Railroad Corporation.

From: NTSB
To: Canadian Pacific Railway
Date: 1/24/2017
Response: On December 19, 2016, we adopted our report concerning the August 17, 2014, accident, in which two Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight trains collided on the UP Hoxie subdivision in Hoxie, Arkansas.1 Additional information about this accident and the resulting recommendations may be found in the report of the investigation, which can be accessed at our website, http://www.ntsb.gov, under report number RAR-16/03. As a result of this investigation, we reiterated Safety Recommendations R-13-21 and R-12-16 to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA); and issued five new recommendations, including two to the FRA, one to UP, one to the Class I Railroads, and the following recommendation to BNSF Railway, Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Intercity Railroads, and Commuter Railroads, including Alaska Railroad Corporation.

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 1/24/2017
Response: On December 19, 2016, we adopted our report concerning the August 17, 2014, accident, in which two Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight trains collided on the UP Hoxie subdivision in Hoxie, Arkansas.1 Additional information about this accident and the resulting recommendations may be found in the report of the investigation, which can be accessed at our website, http://www.ntsb.gov, under report number RAR-16/03. As a result of this investigation, we reiterated Safety Recommendations R-13-21 and R-12-16 to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA); and issued five new recommendations, including two to the FRA, one to UP, one to the Class I Railroads, and the following recommendation to BNSF Railway, Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Intercity Railroads, and Commuter Railroads, including Alaska Railroad Corporation.

From: NTSB
To: Kansas City Southern Railway Company
Date: 1/24/2017
Response: On December 19, 2016, we adopted our report concerning the August 17, 2014, accident, in which two Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight trains collided on the UP Hoxie subdivision in Hoxie, Arkansas.1 Additional information about this accident and the resulting recommendations may be found in the report of the investigation, which can be accessed at our website, http://www.ntsb.gov, under report number RAR-16/03. As a result of this investigation, we reiterated Safety Recommendations R-13-21 and R-12-16 to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA); and issued five new recommendations, including two to the FRA, one to UP, one to the Class I Railroads, and the following recommendation to BNSF Railway, Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Intercity Railroads, and Commuter Railroads, including Alaska Railroad Corporation.

From: NTSB
To: Norfolk Southern Corporation
Date: 1/18/2018
Response: We note that your work with Interdynamics to develop an assigned service-planning tool has ended because you entered into a collective bargining agreement with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers that addresses work–rest cycles using science based tools to reduce start-time variability and fatigue. We understand that you are using a fatigue assessment tool that relies on a biomathematical model to identify jobs and pools of employees that are at risk for fatigue. According to Mr. Irwin’s letter, the model analyzes rosters and actual work hours, along with work shift durations, time of day worked, work history, and the biological limits of recovery sleep. We agree that your fatigue model, when paired with the Federal Railroad Administration’s hours-of-service requirements, should provide you with the necessary guidance to ensure that employees have the proper rest. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation R-16-46 is classified CLOSED ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: Norfolk Southern Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 9/27/2017
Response: -From John A. Irwin, Assistant Vice President Safety and Environmental: This letter responds to yours dated August 1, 2017 addressed to James Squires, CEO, Norfolk Southern Railway Company. Your letter requested additional information in response to Recommendation R-16-046 pertaining to scheduling practices. Specifically, you asked for the following information: 1. Please describe in more detail the work that you are doing with lnterdynamics to develop an assigned service-planning tool. Will this result in a tool that uses bio mathematical models of human fatigue to avoid crew schedules that pose fatigue-related fitness-for-duty issues? 2. Do your collective bargaining agreements use fatigue science to avoid schedules that may pose a risk of impairment due to fatigue, even if the crew members would like to work the schedule? With respect to Item #1, NS is no longer pursuing an Assigned Service Planning Tool in our work with lnterdynamics. Following our implementation of the collective bargaining agreements described below, it became clear that the agreements obviated the need for the planning tool, which would have provided only small additional gains. NS continues to utilize the lnterdynamics FAID fatigue assessment tool, which uses a bio mathematical model to identify jobs and pools that are at risk for fatigue. The model analyzes rosters and actual work hours, together with work shift durations, time of day worked, work history and the biological limits of recovery sleep to identify and provide a FAID score and a KSS (Karolinska Sleepiness Scale) score. This information is evaluated by NS management and forwarded to the field for further handling in the field as appropriate. Jobs or pool employees with high FAID scores are readjusted to ensure scores are reduced. This effort, along with continued compliance with FRA's Hours of Service laws, provides these employees with a proper opportunity to be rested. For Item #2, NS entered into collective bargaining agreements with SMART - TD to provide extra board employees with scheduled time off throughout the NS system. Under the new agreements, each covered employee will have up to a six-day work cycle followed by a two-day rest cycle, which adds predictability and eliminates variability for this group of conductors. In addition, the agreements allow the re-assignment of extra board employees among work/rest groups as needed to maintain an even distribution. As described previously, NS's agreements with the BLET utilize Predictable Workforce Scheduling, which achieves an even higher level of predictability for those employees. Both agreements were designed in keeping with the FRA Hours of Service Requirements and to provide predictability of work/rest period, increase consecutive work hours, and offer opportunities to reduce the amount of time an employee spends away from home during a given cycle. This increases the employee's opportunity to manage work/life issues and to be properly rested because they can count on specific days off that they know about well in advance. Further, two consecutive rest days are mandated by the collective bargaining agreements, which limits the employee's opportunity to take on additional work without this rest. The agreements in combination with Hours of Service requirements ensure employees have predictable time off and the railroad has a predictable work force. Fatigue science is not an express element of the agreements but is applied by NS through the use of the lnterdynamics FAID tool. I trust the foregoing adequately addresses the items in your letter and respectfully request that NTSB designate R-16-046 as "Closed -Appropriate Action" with regard to NS.

From: NTSB
To: Norfolk Southern Corporation
Date: 8/1/2017
Response: We note that you have implemented several new technologies to help you schedule train movements, and you believe that these new technologies will allow you to better balance crews at home and away terminals, improve the accuracy of train line-ups, and allow employees access to notifications by text or e-mail when they reach certain board or pool placements. We note that you are working with Interdynamics to develop an assigned service-planning tool that will help you increase the number of assignments with scheduled on-duty times or calling windows as well as scheduled rest days. Finally, we note that you have worked with the labor unions representing your employees to improve the predictability of work-rest cycles, provide more consecutive rest hours, and offer the opportunity to reduce the amount of time an employee spends away from home during a given cycle, increasing an employee’s opportunity to manage work-life issues. Your 2015 collective bargaining agreement with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen provides a method (which you call predictable workforce scheduling) for engineers to more frequently and regularly change assignments to allow them to better respond to and balance work life issues. The 2015 agreement also affords engineers in all classes of service, including extra boards and unassigned freight pools, access to predictable time off through scheduled (and consecutive) rest days. The programs that Dr. Litow described are parts of your program that lead to predictable scheduling for your crews. These activities may satisfy Safety Recommendation R-16-46, but the focus of the recommendation is crew scheduling that uses science-based tools, such as validated biomathematical models, to reduce start-time variability that results in irregular work-rest cycles and fatigue. To help us evaluate whether your programs satisfy the recommendation, we ask that you provide the following information: 1) Please describe in more detail the work that you are doing with Interdynamics to develop an assigned service-planning tool. Will this result in a tool that uses biomathematical models of human fatigue to avoid crew schedules that pose fatigue related fitness for duty issues? 2) Do your collective bargaining agreements use fatigue science to avoid schedules that may pose a risk of impairment due to fatigue, even if the crew members would like to work the schedule? Pending the answers to these questions, Safety Recommendation R-16-46 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Norfolk Southern Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 4/24/2017
Response: -From Francesca Litow, Chief Medical Officer: In response to the 2014 collision of two Union Pacific trains in Hoxie, Arkansas, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a series of recommendations, two of which were directed to Class I Railroads such as Norfolk Southern Railway Co. ("NS"). The first recommendation suggested we "revise as necessary [our] rules ... to ensure you are informed of any diagnosed sleep disorders that employees in safety -sensitive positions" suffer, as well as "perform periodic evaluations [of employees diagnosed with sleep apnea] to ensure the condition is appropriately treated and the employee is fit for duty." (R-16-045). The second recommendation suggested we "[r]evise ... scheduling practices for train crews and implement science -based tools, such as validated biomathematical models, to reduce start time variability that results in irregular work -rest cycles and fatigue." (R-16-046) I have detailed below Norfolk Southern's current actions and planned additional steps as well as some brief background information: I. Background Information about Norfolk Southern A. Operations NS is a Class I railroad operating primarily in the eastern United States. NS has more than 28,000 employees and approximately 19,500 route miles of track. NS serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and it provides efficient connections with other rail carriers. NS operates the most extensive rail network in the East and is a major transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products. B. Safety Training and Safety Culture NS takes numerous steps to enhance employee safety. NS provides all operations employees with regular rules training, in which they are trained on NS' safety and operating rules. NS has several safety rules relevant to the NTSB recommendations, including Safety Rules 917 (employees "[a]re prohibited from reporting for duty or remaining at work if their ability to safely perform those duties is adversely impacted by their medical condition(s)" and "[m]ust notify NS Health Services promptly of a 'reportable' medical condition or medical event"), 918 ("an employee must not engage in any outside activity that interferes with proper rest"), 919 ("employees must report for duty properly rested"), and 921 ("an employee called to report for service, who will not have legal rest at the indicated time to go on duty, must inform the caller before accepting the call"). Safety Rule 917 and its accompanying "Medical Condition and Medication Guidance" was revised recently to emphasize the importance of employees reporting dangerous medical conditions. However, upon review of NTSB recommendation R-16-045, we have decided to clarify our "Medical Condition and Medication Guidance" (which accompanies Safety Rule 917), in order to make clear that sleep apnea is one of the medical conditions that must be reported. Employees also receive regular one-on-one safety contacts with supervisors, in which the supervisor reviews an employee's safety record and discusses strategies for safe workplace practices, such as identifying and eliminating behaviors that could compromise safety. Employees also regularly engage in job safety briefings, in which crews discuss any unusual conditions or hazards and how to perform their assignments safely. There also are regular safety meetings for employees to attend, where supervisors summarize any recently reported accidents and discuss ways in which those accidents or injuries might have been prevented. NS' unwavering commitment to safety is further demonstrated through its comprehensive structure of proactive safety committees that operate at all levels of the company. For example, each of NS' operating divisions has its own safety committees, comprised of division -level managers and other company representatives. Each month, those committees discuss new ideas for proactively improving safety. NS also is careful to ensure that its safety programs both improve safety and comply with all laws protecting employee rights, including but not limited to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Hours of Service Act. For example, NS insists that an employee who reports an injury or a possible violation of law, rule, regulation or NS policy must not be harassed, intimidated, or disciplined for making the report. To emphasize this commitment, NS provides detailed training to its supervisors at all levels on their obligation to not retaliate against employees for engaging in legally protected activity. Il. NS Actively Screens for Sleep Apnea and Ensures that Employees with Sleep Apnea are Not Permitted to Perform Safety -Sensitive Work Until Their Condition is Appropriately Treated A. New Employees All job offers are contingent upon passing a drug test and medical review. The post -job offer medical exams include, among other things, express questions about past or current diagnoses of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Next, relevant follow-up questions and requests for all medical records are made, as appropriate, so that an applicant who reports a history of a sleep disorder will not be hired for a safety -sensitive job until the company's Chief Medical Officer can review all of the facts, including but not limited to reports from polysomnography or other sleep studies and data to support compliance with prescribed CPAP machines and any prescribed medications. Based upon the Apnea-Hypopnea Index and a review of all medically relevant information, the Chief Medical Officer makes a determination of medical fitness for duty for safety -sensitive positions. If there is insufficient information provided by a job offeree to support compliance with appropriate treatment, as well as stability and control of symptoms, NS will delay the hire of that individual. B. Current Employees Supervisors of employees in safety -sensitive positions receive training on how to recognize a potentially unsafe employee and how to report health concerns to the Chief Medical Officer. As a result, employees engaged in train and engine service undergo fitness -for -service medical examinations both periodically and whenever a reasonable concern about the employee's fitness has been raised. These examinations include a questionnaire that expressly asks about any past or current diagnosis of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. C. NS Does Not Permit Individuals with Sleep Apnea to Perform Safety -Sensitive Duties Until the Condition has been Appropriately Treated and is Stable When the Chief Medical Officer learns that an employee performing a safety -sensitive job has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, the Chief Medical Officer will request information including documentation of the results of polysomnography or other sleep studies, physician evaluations, and data to support compliance with prescribed Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines and any prescribed medications. If an employee with a diagnosed sleep disorder does not comply with a request for this information, and/or review of the information the employee provides indicates that the employee is noncompliant with treatment recommendations (including but not limited to CPAP and prescribed medications), the Chief Medical Officer will medically disqualify the employee until such time as the employee provides medical information that demonstrates compliance with prescribed treatment as well as stability and control of the sleep disorder. Ill. NS Takes Numerous Steps to Proactively Guard Against Employee Fatigue NS has invested in several new technologies to address and mitigate the risks of employee fatigue. For example, NS is working diligently on installing Positive Train Control (PTC). In addition, NS has implemented Movement Planner, Unified Train Control System (UTCS) and CrewVue to improve train scheduling and predictability throughout our network. These innovations allow NS to better balance crews at home and away terminals, improve the accuracy of train line-ups, and allow employees access to notifications by text or e-mail when they reach certain board or pool placements. To further enhance predictable work and rest cycles, NS has partnered with Interdynamics, a leading provider of risk management software, to develop an Assigned Service Planning Tool. This tool promises to aid NS in identifying opportunities to increase the number of assignments with scheduled on -duty times or calling windows as well as scheduled rest days. In addition to technological fatigue countermeasures, NS has adopted several new policies and collective bargaining agreements to mitigate potential fatigue. For example, NS has implemented a napping policy for select employees. Also, the 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement between NS and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) provides a method - Predictable Workforce Scheduling - for engineers to more frequently and regularly change assignments to allow them to better respond to, and balance, work/life issues. While a significant number of our engineers have long been afforded scheduled rest days and/or reporting times in yard, local and assigned through freight service, the 2015 Agreement also provides a framework that affords every engineer in all classes of service, including extra boards and unassigned freight pools, access to predictable time off through scheduled (and consecutive) rest days. Similarly, NS has worked with International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART -TD) to implement work/rest extra boards throughout our system. These arrangements enhance the predictability of work/rest periods, provide more consecutive rest hours, and offer the opportunity to reduce the amount of time an employee spends away from home during a given cycle, further increasing an employee's opportunity to manage work/life issues. In addition to these initiatives, NS complies with the Hours of Service Act. As you are aware, this Act addresses fatigue by controlling how many hours covered service employees may work, providing limitations on the consecutive -days of work and the cumulative monthly activity of train and engine service employees and prescribing uninterrupted rest between starts and after six consecutive starts. Finally, NS employees are afforded reasonable privileges to call off work (mark -off) in addition to collectively bargained and federally mandated time off. Scrutiny of employee attendance is not triggered by a single mark -off. Rather, our attendance policy focuses on extended and defined periods during which frequent, pattern and/or unexplained mark -offs occur. In cases where handling for absences during a given period is warranted under the attendance policy, the first step is always counseling. And, subsequent handlings for poor attendance do not result in unpaid suspension until an employee continues to demonstrate an unwillingness or inability to remediate his/her behavior. IV. Planned Efforts to Identify Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea U.S. rail regulators are regretfully behind both Australia (see Australia National Transport Commission, "National Standards for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers) and FMCSA in setting standards and specifying BMI thresholds for testing for sleep apnea. While we strongly encourage regulators to promptly take action in this regard, NS also is exploring ways to proactively identify job offerees and current employees who should be tested for sleep apnea. We currently envision this effort occurring during pre -employment physical examinations (for job offerees) or triennial FRA -required physical examinations (for current employees). During these examinations, NS would assess an individual to determine whether he/she possesses certain well -established sleep -apnea risk factors. If so, NS would require the employee either to: (1) provide documentation that he/she had been tested for sleep apnea and that any identified condition is controlled, or (2) submit to a sleep apnea test. If, as a result of this screening, an individual tested positive for sleep apnea or was identified as having a record of untreated sleep apnea, NS' plan would likely be to follow the same protocols that it presently uses for handling individuals who self -report sleep apnea, i.e., holding the individual out of service until he/she has produced medical documentation showing that their sleep apnea is under control. Safety is NS' number one priority, and we thank you for your recommendations and for your interest in these important safety topics. While NS continues to support implementation of federal safety standards that clearly address sleep apnea, we trust this response adequately details NS' full compliance with NTSB's recommended actions and we respectfully request that NTSB designate R-16-045 and R-16-046 as "Closed -Acceptable Action" with regards to NS.

From: NTSB
To: Union Pacific
Date: 8/1/2017
Response: Our investigation of the accident in Hoxie, Arkansas, found that both the engineer and the conductor of the southbound train were likely asleep at the time of the accident and had passed three signal indications to slow down and stop without responding appropriately. Although we determined that the engineer was subject to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the conductor was not likely subject to OSA. However, we found that the conductor had worked a schedule with highly variable start and stop times, which is permitted for freight operations but not for passenger or commuter service. We issued Safety Recommendation R-16-46 based on the following findings in our investigation report on the Hoxie accident: • The southbound train conductor was likely asleep at the time of the accident because of the variability of his shift start times, which resulted in fatigue and the circadian desynchronization he experienced while operating the train in the early morning hours when he was predisposed to sleep. • Had the provisions specified in the hours-of-service requirements for commuter and passenger trains been applied to freight operations, the southbound train conductor would not have been allowed to work such a highly variable schedule because of its high risk of causing fatigue. In his letter, Mr. Doerr discussed the challenges of crew-scheduling practices that consider the fatigue that may be caused by the crew person’s work schedule. Among these challenges are collective bargaining agreements with your labor unions and conditions affecting train operations that are not under management’s control, such as weather, customer demands, connections from ports or other carriers, and unexpected employee absences. We acknowledge all of these challenges, but we believe that many of the same issues affect passenger and commuter operations, where effective scheduling is required yet fully considers the fatigue implications of the schedule (and not just whether the schedule complies with hours-of-service regulations). Mr. Doerr also discussed UP’s mitigations to deal with crew fatigue, including raising employee awareness at home and at work, and a toolbox for dealing with fatigue. These are valuable mitigations, but they do not address the issue in Safety Recommendation R-16-46. The goal of this recommendation is to prevent fatigue, rather than to allow schedules that cause dangerous levels of fatigue, as in the Hoxie accident, and expect the employee to adjust accordingly. Mr. Doerr’s letter did not discuss any actions that UP plans or is doing to address Safety Recommendation R-16-46. We are concerned that you may be willing to accept the risk of a fatigue-caused accident rather than apply the same scheduling policies and principles used in passenger and commuter operations to your freight operations. Pending your taking the action as recommended, Safety Recommendation R-16-46 is classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Union Pacific
To: NTSB
Date: 4/5/2017
Response: -From Rodney N. Doerr, Vice President-Safety & Chief Safety Officer: Union Pacific's Alertness Management program is based on science, has an educational component supported by the Safety and Health & Medical Services Department and incorporates a variety of strategies to mitigate fatigue including reducing variability in operations and train crew schedules. Due to the diversity of operations, the complexity of human physiology, individual needs, and the requirements for practical operational flexibility, a variety of approaches are needed to address predictability of on and off duty time so employees can plan activities and rest. Union Pacific recently updated its passenger operations schedules to optimize employees' opportunities for rest using the "FAID" software that has been approved by the FRA. Thirty-nine percent of the start times in freight operations that train crews may hold based on seniority were in scheduled service during 2016. Crew scheduling collective bargaining agreements for irregular freight service have been negotiated and implemented in many corridors. Other strategies to reduce variability that will in turn increase the predictability of call times include reductions in operational disruptions that can affect train schedules (e.g., operational, equipment and rail infrastructure failures). As you know, the 2008 RSIA Hours of Service Law mandates were implemented and provide crews more opportunities to rest in preparation for reporting to work. However, many conditions that affect train operations are not under the control of management. Weather, customer demands, connections from ports or other carriers, and unexpected employee absences from work contribute to variability in operations. To help mitigate the potential risk of fatigue, employee resources are available to raise awareness of fatigue in the workplace and at home through educational information, mitigation strategies and support provided by management and peers. The comprehensive “tool box” for managing fatigue while on duty (e.g., quiet/rest rooms, collective bargaining solutions, technology solutions (such as automated board standing alerts to the employee’s mobile device, training, operating practices such as job briefings, peer to peer and manger interactions) is evaluated and updated on an ongoing basis. Recently implemented alertness management strategies also include the installation of cameras inside the locomotive cab to help management educate the workforce and mitigate risks associated with fatigue and distraction, and medical standards that require employees to report a diagnosis of severe sleep apnea to ensure they are treated and monitored.