NTSB Asks Congress to Give FRA Hours of Service Authority

February 14, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark Rosenker today asked Congress to give the Federal Railroad Administration the statutory authority to revise hours of service rules for railroad workers, noting that current rules are not based on science related to fatigue. Testifying before the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials of the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Chairman Rosenker said that over the past 23 years the NTSB has investigated 16 major railroad accidents in which it established that the probable cause was crewmember fatigue. Operator fatigue has been on the Board’s Most Wanted List

Rosenker: Excited About Positive Train Control

January 11, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark Rosenker says he welcomes the Federal Railroad Administration’s decision to move forward on a Positive Train Control (PTC) system that can alert crews to dangerous situations and control train speed and movement to avoid collisions. The system will be installed by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad on 35 specific freight lines in 17 states. “This is exciting news,” Rosenker said. “The Safety Board has been pushing for the installation of PTC for many years, and I congratulate both the FRA and BNSF for moving ahead. I am confident it will

NTSB Finishes Field Portion of WMATA Investigation

January 4, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Transportation Safety Board has wrapped up the field portion of an investigation into the deaths of two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) track inspectors. The workers were killed Nov. 30 after they were struck by a train near the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station in Alexandria, Va. The NTSB continues to investigate. A sight distance test was completed in early December, and investigators have recordings and transcripts of radio conversations between the train operator and dispatchers and are reviewing them. A security camera video from the station platform that shows the accident is being enhanced.

Chealander Newest NTSB Member

January 4, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Steven R. Chealander was sworn in today as a member of the National Transportation Safety Board. Chealander brings a wealth of both civilian and military aviation experience to the NTSB.  Prior to joining the Board, he was with American Airlines, serving since 1991 as a pilot and Captain qualified on the DC-10, B-737, MD-80, and F-100 aircraft, and as a Chief Pilot in Los Angeles. At American, he also was a flight safety manager, performing safety and compliance audits and participating in investigations, and was most recently the Manager of Flight Operations Efficiency. From 1964 to 1991, Chealander

NTSB: Engineer’s Inattentiveness to Blame for 2005 Wreck

December 21, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – An engineer’s inattentiveness to signal indications and his failure to operate the train in accordance with the signal indications and speed restrictions is probable cause of a September 2005 Metra derailment, the National Transportation Safety Board determined. Contributing to the Sept. 17, 2005 derailment of Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. (Metra) train No. 504 in Chicago was lack of recognition by Metra of the risk posed by the significant difference between track speed and crossover speed at the accident location and its inaction to reduce that risk through additional operational safety procedures and other means. Also, contributing

NTSB: Inadequate Response to Rough Track Conditions Led to Washington Derailment

October 30, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of an April 2005 Amtrak derailment was the BNSF Railway Company’s inadequate response to multiple reports of rough track conditions that were subsequently attributed to excessive concrete crosstie abrasion. Contributing to the accident was the Federal Railroad Administration’s failure to provide adequate track safety standards for concrete crossties. The abrasion allowed the outer rail to rotate outward and create a wide gage track condition. “This is a case where the railroad failed to respond appropriately to warnings of a track problem and where Federal requirements could have provided

NTSB: Train Crew’s Failure to Remain Attentive Led to 2005 Wreck

October 30, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that the probable cause of the Oct. 15, 2005, collision of two Union Pacific trains in Texarkana, Ark., was the failure of a train crew to remain attentive and alert and thereby able to stop before striking an observable standing train in front of them. Contributing to the severity of the wreck was the puncture of a tank car during the collision, which resulted in the release of propylene, a compressed flammable gas. Also, the yardmaster did not immediately provide emergency responders with a consist which would have immediately identified the

NTSB Probes Pa. Derailment

October 21, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEW BRIGHTON, Pa. – National Transportation Safety Board investigators are at the scene of a Norfolk Southern freight train derailment near New Brighton, a city about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The derailment occurred about 10:40 p.m. yesterday. In the wreck, about two dozen of the train’s 83 tank cars carrying ethanol derailed and fell off a bridge. No one was injured in the crash, but about nine of the cars caught fire, according to published reports. About 50 people were displaced because of the derailment. “I actually felt the explosion at my house. It was like lightning struck in

NTSB to Consider Two Final Accident Reports

October 12, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public board meeting Oct. 17 to consider final accident reports about a pair of crashes. The first case involves an Oct. 15, 2005, collision near Texarkana, Ark. In that wreck, a westbound Union Pacific Railroad train collided with the rear of a standing UP train in a rail yard. The collision resulted in the puncture of a railroad tank car containing propylene, a flammable gas. An unknown ignition source ignited the migrating gas, exploding a house and killing the person inside. Approximately 3,000 residents within a 1-mile radius of the

NTSB: Rail Fatalities Decrease in 2005

September 21, 2006 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON – Overall, transportation fatalities in the United States increased last year, but the number of rail fatalities decreased, according to preliminary figures released by the National Transportation Safety Board. Deaths from transportation accidents in the United States in 2005 totaled 45,636, up from 45,092 in 2004. “It is very disturbing to see transportation fatalities rising,” said NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. “In all modes, but especially on our roads and highways, we need a concerted effort by government, industry and the traveling public to establish a strong downward trend in the number of fatal accidents.” Despite the overall increase

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