Office of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations

The Office of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations investigates accidents involving railroads, pipelines, and the transportation of hazardous materials. On the basis of the investigations conducted by this office, the NTSB issues safety recommendations to federal and state regulatory agencies, industry and safety standards organizations, carriers and pipeline operators, equipment and container manufacturers, producers and shippers of hazardous materials, and emergency response organizations. The Office has four divisions: the Railroad Division, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Division, the Human Performance and Survival Factors Division, and the Report Development Division.

Railroad Division

The Railroad Division has the responsibility for railroad accident investigations involving passenger railroads, freight railroads, commuter rail transit systems and other transportation systems operating on a fixed guideway. These accidents typically involve collisions or derailments; some of these accidents lead to the release of hazardous materials.

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Division

The Pipeline staff investigates accidents occurring during the transport of natural gas or hazardous liquids, such as gasoline, propane or crude oil, through pipeline systems and accidents in which public safety is threatened by the release of hazardous substances. The Division investigates all pipeline accidents in which there is a fatality, substantial property damage, or significant environmental impact.

The Hazardous Materials staff investigates accidents in all modes of transportation. The investigation may include analysis of the performance of hazardous materials containers, such as rail tank cars, highway cargo tanks, and smaller non-bulk packaging.

Human Performance and Survival Factors Division

The Human Performance Investigator examines the performance of persons whose actions may have caused or contributed to an accident.

The Survival Factors Investigator examines factors that affect the survival of persons involved in accidents, including safety procedures, crashworthiness, equipment design, emergency response, and emergency procedures training.

Report Development Division

The Division is responsible for drafting and editing investigation reports as well as safety recommendation letters, special investigation reports, and general correspondence.

Senior Staff

Robert Hall, Director
Georgetta Gregory, Railroad Division Chief
John Vorderbrueggen, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Chief
Bob Beaton, Human Performance and Survival Factors Chief
Joseph Scott, Report Development Chief



National Transportation Safety Board
490 L'Enfant Plaza East, S.W.
Washington, DC 20594
(202) 314-6000 (phone)