FTA Proposes Mandatory Minimum Standards to Protect Rail Transit Workers

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on March 22 announced that, for the first time, it is proposing mandatory minimum standards to protect those who perform track work for rail transit agencies nationwide.

Homendy Nominated for NTSB Chair and Member

President Joe Biden on March 14 announced his intention to nominate Jennifer Lynn Homendy for Chair and Member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Jennifer Homendy

NTSB’s Top Cop: ‘Accept Fact-Based Science or Hit the Road, Jack’

WATCHING WASHINGTON, RAILWAY AGE, MARCH 2024 ISSUE: National Transportation Board (NTSB) Chairperson Jennifer Esposito Homendy can be a pain in the neck, and elsewhere. Celebrate that tenacity. It assuredly saves what cannot be calculated—injuries not suffered and lives not lost in preventable transportation mishaps.

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.

NTSB to Hold Final Public Meeting on East Palestine Derailment

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Feb. 7 announced that it will return to East Palestine, Ohio, on June 25 for its final board meeting on the 2023 train derailment and subsequent hazardous material release and fires.

​Illustration of the collision location on MTA NYCT. (Federal Transit Administration Image, Courtesy of the National Transportation Safety Board.)

NTSB Issues Preliminary Report on NYCT Train-to-Train Collision

Three weeks after two MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) trains collided north of Manhattan’s 96th Street Station, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a preliminary report for its ongoing

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.

From Left to Right: Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy, AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies, and INDOT Commissioner Michael Smith.

Grade Crossing Improvements Discussed at Rail Subcommittee Hearing

Four witnesses on Jan. 18 discussed improving safety at highway-rail grade crossings at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

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 Retires Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced on Dec. 14 that 2023 will mark the end of its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, the focus of the agency’s safety advocacy for nearly 35 years.