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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NTSB issues recommendations on preventing train accidents, haz-mat mishaps

Yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report on Norfolk Southern Corp.’s January train accident in Graniteville, S.C., that killed nine people. The board determined that an NS crew failed to return a mainline switch to its normal position after the workers completed trackwork in the area.

The NTSB also issued several safety recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration that would require railroads to:
• install an automatically activated device in “dark” or un-signaled territory that visually or electronically alerts workers about switch position;
• reduce speed so a train can stop before moving over a misaligned switch;
• implement operating procedures — such as positioning tank cars toward a train’s rear and reducing train speed in populated areas — to minimize the effects of accidents involving hazardous materials; and
• provide an emergency escape breathing apparatus and associated training to all crew members on trains moving hazardous materials.

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More News from 11/30/2005