November 23, 2014

NTSB recommends better sleep disorder screening

Federal regulators who concluded that an engineer’s sleep apnea caused a deadly train derailment in New York adopted several recommendations Wednesday for better screening of such disorders, including a call for improved physician training. The National Transportation Safety Board, meeting in Washington, approved all the conclusions and recommendations in a staff report that examined five [...]

Metro-North, railroad regulators criticized on safety

Three senators and a top federal safety official delivered a blistering critique on Tuesday of the Metro-North Railroad and regulators in Washington for lapses in maintenance and oversight that led to five accidents that killed six people in less than a year. Led by Christopher A. Hart, the acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety [...]

NTSB outlines measures to protect rail workers

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Railroad and rail transit roadway workers are subject to on-the-job risks and hazards markedly different from those faced by other railroad employees. The jobs of railroad engineers and conductors include risks primarily related to moving trains – derailments, collisions with other trains; the jobs of roadway workers involve hazards that include moving rolling stock and [...]

NTSB examines recent surge in rail worker deaths

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WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board Sept. 24 issued a special investigation report on the recent increase in deaths of railroad and rail transit roadway workers on or near tracks and made recommendations to reduce the number of fatalities. The Special Investigation Report on Railroad and Rail Transit Roadway Worker Protection provides details of [...]

NTSB: Crash wiped out signal that could hold clues

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A federal investigator said Tuesday (Aug. 19) that a signal that would have given a final instruction to the crew of a railroad train involved in a fatal head-on collision was damaged in the accident but could still hold clues as to what happened. Crews are hopeful they can recover data [...]

UTU member among 3 dead in UP Okla. head-on

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GUYMON, Okla. – Three Union Pacific crewmembers died in a June 24 head-on collision between two freight trains near here that produced a diesel fuel-fed fire so intense that the thick, black smoke could be seen for 10 miles and caused the closing of a nearby small airport and evacuation of a nearby trailer park. The [...]

Trucker in Amtrak crash: 9 traffic tickets since 2007

FALLON, Nev. – The truck driver who died when his tractor-trailer slammed into Amtrak’s westbound California Zephyr here June 24, had accumulated nine traffic tickets since 2007 – five for speeding in a commercial vehicle, twice for speeding in his personal automobile, once for a seat belt violation and once for illegally using a cellphone [...]

Transport-employee fatigue continues to kill

While sleep scientists have established that going to work fatigued is like going to work drunk, there remains a disconnect among those who manage transportation firms. And people are needlessly dying and being seriously injured as a result. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood June 1 criticized his own Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for not sooner [...]

PTC installation could be trimmed 10,000 miles

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration suggests scaling back by 10,000 miles a federal mandate that positive train control (PTC) be installed on some 140,000 miles of freight and passenger track no later than Dec. 31, 2015. The 10,000 miles represents track over which freight railroads say neither passengers nor dangerous hazmat will be transported in [...]

CSX wreck claims 2; member loses limbs on BNSF

MINERAL SPRINGS, N.C. — CSX conductor Phillip E. Crawford Jr., 33, and locomotive engineer James Gregory Hadden, 36, were killed early May 24 in a rear-end collision here involving two CSX freight trains, according to news reports. Mineral Springs is some 30 miles south of Charlotte. Crawford was a member of UTU Local 970, Abbeville, [...]