Thursday, March 01, 2018

NTSB releases preliminary report on Amtrak-CSX accident

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NTSB releases preliminary report on Amtrak-CSX accident NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the preliminary report into the Feb. 4, 2018 collision between an Amtrak and CSX train on CSX's Columbia Subdivision in Cayce, S.C.

Two Amtrak crewmembers were killed in the accident and NTSB says at least 92 passengers and crewmembers were transported to medical facilities. The agency estimates $25 million in damage was done in the accident.

NTSB explains that the day before the accident CSX signal personnel suspended use of a traffic control system for train operation in order to install updated traffic control system components for implementing positive train control on the subdivision. Dispatchers were to use track warrants during the suspension, which was scheduled to last through Feb. 4. The Amtrak train was operating on a track warrant when it diverted from the main track through a hand-thrown switch into a siding and collided head-on with the stationary CSX train.

NTSB investigators inspected the track structure, signal system and mechanical equipment; collected and are examining records for operations, signal systems, mechanical equipment and track and engineering; and interviewed train crewmembers, train dispatchers and other personnel from CSX and Amtrak.

The undamaged event data recorder from the destroyed Amtrak locomotive was recovered, as was the forward-facing video recorder hard drive. Other investigative efforts included the download of information from the forward-facing video recorder and the extraction of the event recorder from the CSX lead locomotive.

In response to this accident, on Feb. 13, 2018, the NTSB issued an urgent recommendation requesting that the Federal Railroad Administration issue an emergency order providing instructions for railroads to follow when signal suspensions are in effect and a switch has been reported relined for a main track.