Friday, January 13, 2012

NTSB sends safety recs to FRA following rear-end collisions

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The National Transportation Safety Board issued two safety recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration related to five rear-end collisions in which crewmembers failed to operate their trains at the required restricted speed.

Related recommendations were also issued to the Association of American Railroads, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the United Transportation Union.

All five recommendations letters focus on the need for railroads to disseminate information related to these accidents to their employees and to emphasize the need for crewmembers to operate trains in accordance with restricted speed operating rules.

Because these accidents occurred on different railroads and under different circumstances, the NTSB is concerned that noncompliance with restricted speed requirements may be an issue affecting a broad segment of the U.S. railroad industry.

Signal systems provide for the safe separation between trains. However, there are times when trains are authorized to occupy the same sections of track. In these cases, safe train operations rely solely on crewmember compliance with the railroad's restricted speed requirements.

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