FRA Issues Safety Advisory for Rail Yard Safety

WASHINGTON — As a result of a fatal Dec. 14 rail yard switching accident in Manlius, N.Y., the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Safety Advisory recommending that railroads assess their existing rules addressing safety at yard grade crossings.

The agency also urges railroads to review, or as necessary, amend their rules governing yard movements to clarify what actions employees must take under various circumstances to fully adhere to operating procedures. In the December accident, a worker backing a pickup truck over a yard grade crossing was struck by rail cars being moved by a remote control locomotive.

The remote control operator did not maintain continuous supervision of the movement, resulting in a fatal accident instead of a minor incident. Compounding the incident was a radio communications failure involving other yard personnel who were attempting to notify the operator to stop the movement.

FRA noted that, should railroads and employees fail to take these steps, it may take additional more stringent actions or corrective measures under its regulatory authority.

— Special to News Wire