National Transportation Safety Board

Overhead diagram of the accident. (NTSB)

NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on NS Engineer Fatality

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report for its ongoing investigation of the Jan. 31, 2024, accident involving a Norfolk Southern (NS) engineer who was fatally injured while performing switching operations when the lead locomotive he was operating was struck by rolling railcars in the Class I’s Decatur Yard in Decatur, Ala.

From left to right: Kristen Monaco, Director of the STB Office of Economics; Warren Randolph, Chief Data Officer at the NTSB; and Jen Adler, Director of the NTSB Office of Safety Recommendations and Communications.

People News: STB, NTSB

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has appointed an Office of Economics Director, and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has hired its first Chief Data Officer and a new Director for its Office of Safety Recommendations and Communications.

FRA Administrator Amit Bose

FRA: Railroads Required to Provide EEBAs

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on Jan. 25 announced that it has issued a final rule requiring railroads to provide emergency escape breathing apparatuses (EEBAs) for train crew members and other employees who could be exposed to an inhalation hazard in the event of a hazardous material (hazmat) release.

The NTSB observed the inspection and disassembly of wheelset #4 from railcar 7200, which caused the 2021 Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority derailment in Virginia. “In accordance with wheelset design, each wheel should have been flush against its bearing when mounted,” NTSB wrote in its January 2023 derailment investigation report. “Before disassembly, the inspection identified gaps between both wheels and their respective bearings: about 0.63 inches for the right-side wheel and about 1.10 inches for the left-side wheel [see above] … The back-to-back measurement was about 55.375 inches, or about 2 inches wider than the maximum design specification.” (NTSB Image)

NTSB Releases WMATA 2021 Derailment Report

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Jan. 4 issued its final report on the October 2021 Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) train derailment in Arlington, Va., attributing the cause to a wheelset irregularity. Chair Jennifer Homendy was critical of both the transit agency’s “safety culture” and the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) oversight.

NTSB Urges FRA to Incorporate New PTC Technology

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling on the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to formulate a plan to “incorporate promising new [Positive Train Control (PTC)] technology into the existing system that