July 30, 2015

Dangerous trains, aging rails

A CSX freight train ran off the rails last month in rural Mount Carbon, W.Va. One after another, exploding rail cars sent hellish fireballs hundreds of feet into the clear winter sky. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency, and the fires burned for several days. The Feb. 16 accident was one of [...]

Safety Team member assisting NTSB in Calif.

The SMART Transportation Division’s National Safety Team has assigned one of its members to assist the National Transportation Safety Board in its investigation of the crash and derailment of a Metrolink commuter train in Ventura County in California Feb. 24. Twenty-eight people were injured, four of them critically, when the five-car Metrolink commuter train traveling [...]

Transportation fatalities drop, but rail deaths rise

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WASHINGTON – Transportation fatalities in the United States decreased by 3 percent in 2013 from 2012, according to preliminary figures released today by the National Transportation Safety Board. Fatalities in all modes of transportation totaled 34,678 in 2013, compared with 35,796 in 2012. Deaths in marine, aviation, highway and pipeline transportation decreased, although there was [...]

NTSB increases pressure for automatic train braking

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The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday issued its annual tally of Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements, adding to the list for the first time the issue of the safety of railroad tank cars carrying crude oil and ethanol. The safety board also urged the railroad industry to adopt a technology known as “Positive Train [...]

NTSB adds tank car safety to ‘Most Wanted’ list

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WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday added railroad tank car improvements to its list of “Most Wanted” safety improvements, reflecting a heightened awareness about problems in transporting crude oil and ethanol by rail. It was the first time the issue has appeared on the board’s annual list of safety priorities since it [...]

NTSB safety alert highlights improving visibility

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WASHINGTON– The National Transportation Safety Board issued a Safety Alert that focuses on the visibility of railroad signals. On railroads, light-emitting diode (LED) railroad signals may mask nearby incandescent signals, preventing incandescent signals from being visible to train crews. If LED and incandescent signals are installed in close proximity to one another, the LED signal [...]

NTSB investigating deadly Tenn. school bus crash

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Two young girls and one female adult aide were killed and 27 others were injured Tuesday after two Knox County school buses collided on Asheville Highway in East Knoxville. The wreck, which flipped one bus onto its side, happened near Governor John Sevier Highway just before 3 p.m. Read the complete story at Television Station [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]