Rail

NTSB issues rail work safety recs

Posted on March 11, 2013

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued four recommendations addressing safety issues related to ongoing railroad accident investigations near Madison, Ill., and Niles, Mich., involving the use of jumper wires during railroad signal maintenance operations.

As a result, NTSB recommends the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration provide railroad employees with the best practices regarding the use of jumper wires when performing signal maintenance operations on active rails.

"Required safety precautions were not taken by railroad employees during maintenance and repair activities that resulted in one fatality and put hundreds of passengers at risk," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "In railroading, what may seem like a small oversight can have deadly consequences — that is why we issue our recommendations — to shine a light on problems that need attention."

On Feb. 28, 2012, a southbound Amtrak train collided with an automobile at a highway-rail crossing near Madison, Ill. As a result of the accident, the automobile driver was fatally injured. At the time of the accident, two Union Pacific employees were working on the grade crossing warning system. Preliminary information resulting from the NTSB's investigation indicates that the highway-rail grade crossing warning system had been temporarily removed from service for testing, inspection and maintenance. The warning system did not activate as the train approached the crossing.

On Oct. 21, 2012, an eastbound Amtrak train was routed onto a yard track while traveling 61 mph on a main track in Niles, Mich. The train derailed about 254 feet beyond the power-operated switch and traveled about 1,086 feet before stopping on the yard track. The four cars and two locomotives derailed upright and in line with the track. On board the train were 165 passengers and four crew members.

During the ongoing investigation, NTSB investigators learned that an Amtrak signal employee was performing troubleshooting activities with jumper wires inside the signal bungalow just prior to the derailment. This action circumvented the signal system's ability to verify that the power-operated switch was properly aligned and locked in the correct position for the displayed signals.

To view the recommendations, click here and here.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

FRA invests $21.2M in PTC, grade crossing safety, passenger rail

Grants awarded are part of a Notice of Funding Availability it issued in July 2014 to distribute new FY14 Omnibus funding as well as unobligated funds from the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program.

Metra adopting 'confidential close call reporting system'

According to the FRA, which has promoted the adoption of the system by a handful of railroads so far, the system complements existing safety programs, builds a positive safety culture, creates an early warning system, focuses on problems instead of people, provides an incentive for learning from errors and targets the root cause of an issue, not the symptom.

Cost of 3-week Cincinatti streetcar delay could total $2M

Additionally, the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority has reduced its estimates by $569,000 for both streetcar fare revenue and what it believes it can capture from those who want to advertise on the vehicles.

The case for driverless trains by the numbers

Some of the benefits discussed by a CityLab report, include a 70% savings in staff, higher frequencies, significant operational savings and more room for passengers.

State lawmakers urge Metro Transit to step up fare enforcement

While an audit found that one of every 10 light rail passengers may not be paying fares, Metro Transit reports 94% compliance on its Green Line and 97% compliance on its Blue Line. Moving away from an honor system and installing turnstiles could cost the agency $107 million, according to the report.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close