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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-78-071
Details
Synopsis: ON OCTOBER 2, 1977, WESTBOUND SEABOARD COAST LINE/AMTRAK PASSENGER TRAIN NO. 57 STRUCK A NORTHBOUND PICKUP TRUCK AT A GRADE CROSSING IN PLANT CITY, FLORIDA. THE COLLISION OCCURRED WHEN THE PICKUP TRUCK PROCEEDED PAST THE RAILROAD CROSSING FLASHING SIGNALS ONTO THE TRACK AND INTO THE PATH OF THE TRAIN WHICH WAS TRAVELING AT 70 MPH. THE 10 OCCUPANTS OF THE PICKUP TRUCK WERE KILLED; NEITHER THE CREW OF THE TRAIN NOR ITS 30 PASSENGERS WERE INJURED.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION, THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION, AMTRAK, THE SEABOARD COAST LINE RAILROAD COMPANY, AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: COOPERATE TO TAKE NECESSARY CORRECTIVE ACTION TO REDUCE THE HIGH FREQUENCY OF RAIL ROAD/HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING ACCIDENTS ALONG THE 240 MILES OF TRACK BETWEEN JACKSONVILLE AND TAMPA, FLORIDA.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Plant City, FL, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 79746
Accident Reports: ​Seaboard Coast Line/Amtrak Passenger Train/Pickup Truck Collision
Report #: RHR-78-02
Accident Date: 10/2/1977
Issue Date: 12/27/1978
Date Closed: 7/17/1979
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
CSX Transportation, Inc. (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
FHWA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
FRA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
State of Florida, Department of Transportation (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of Florida, Department of Transportation
Date: 10/25/1979
Response:

From: State of Florida, Department of Transportation
To: NTSB
Date: 2/7/1979
Response: LETTER FROM SEABOARD COAST LINE RAILROAD DATED 1/12/79: SEABOARD, AMTRAK, AND FLORIDA DOT ARE PRESENTLY ENGAGED IN A JOINT PROJECT TO INSTALL MORE CROSSING PROTECTION ALONG THE CORRIDOR. SEABOARD COAST LINES IN CONJUNCTION WITH FLORIDA DOT AND OTHER SAFETY ORGANIZATIONS HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN "OPERATION LIFESAVER." THIS PROGRAM IS BEING CONTINUED AND EXPANDED TO OTHER STATES IN WHICH SEABOARD OPERATES. LTR FROM FLORIDA DOT DATED 2/7/79: WE ARE PROCEEDING WITH THE AMTRAK PROGRAM DISCUSSED IN YOUR REPORT. LTR FROM FRA DATED 2/23/79 - FHWA HAS BEEN DESIGNATED TO BE THE LEAD OFFICE FOR DOT IN RESPONDING TO THE RECOMMENDATION. FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO FHWA. LETTER FROM FHWA DATED 5/8/78: FHWA RECENTLY AUTHORIZED A PROJECT IN FLORIDA USING FEDERAL FUNDS FOR THE INSTALLATION OR UPGRADING OF CROSSBUCK WARNING SIGNS ON THE AMTRAK CROSSINGS IN THE JACKSONVILLE-TAMPA CORRIDOR. FLORIDA IS ALSO CONTINUING THE USE OF SAFETY FUNDS TO UPGRADE PAVEMENT MARKINGS AND WARNING SIGNS IN THE CORRIDOR. 6/1/79 - FLORIDA DOT LTR IN RESPONSE TO NTSB 3/23/79 LTR OF INQUIRY: ACCIDENTS HAVE BEEN REDUCED STEADILY SINCE THE RAIL-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM BEGAN TO HAVE AN EFFECT - 61% REDUCTION SINCE 1974. THE ACCIDENT SEVERITY CONTINUES TO DECREASE AT A FASTER RATE THAN THE ACCIDENTS. SINCE THE MOST HAZARDOUS GRADE CROSSINGS HAVE BEEN SIGNALIZED FIRST, THE DECREASE IN ACCIDENTS SHOULD LEVEL OFF IN THE FUTURE. WORK ON THE AMTRAK PROJECT WILL BEGIN IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 10/25/1979
Response:

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 5/8/1979
Response: LETTER FROM SEABOARD COAST LINE RAILROAD DATED 1/12/79: SEABOARD, AMTRAK, AND FLORIDA DOT ARE PRESENTLY ENGAGED IN A JOINT PROJECT TO INSTALL MORE CROSSING PROTECTION ALONG THE CORRIDOR. SEABOARD COAST LINES IN CONJUNCTION WITH FLORIDA DOT AND OTHER SAFETY ORGANIZATIONS HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN "OPERATION LIFESAVER." THIS PROGRAM IS BEING CONTINUED AND EXPANDED TO OTHER STATES IN WHICH SEABOARD OPERATES. LTR FROM FLORIDA DOT DATED 2/7/79: WE ARE PROCEEDING WITH THE AMTRAK PROGRAM DISCUSSED IN YOUR REPORT. LTR FROM FRA DATED 2/23/79 - FHWA HAS BEEN DESIGNATED TO BE THE LEAD OFFICE FOR DOT IN RESPONDING TO THE RECOMMENDATION. FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO FHWA. LETTER FROM FHWA DATED 5/8/78: FHWA RECENTLY AUTHORIZED A PROJECT IN FLORIDA USING FEDERAL FUNDS FOR THE INSTALLATION OR UPGRADING OF CROSSBUCK WARNING SIGNS ON THE AMTRAK CROSSINGS IN THE JACKSONVILLE-TAMPA CORRIDOR. FLORIDA IS ALSO CONTINUING THE USE OF SAFETY FUNDS TO UPGRADE PAVEMENT MARKINGS AND WARNING SIGNS IN THE CORRIDOR. 6/1/79 - FLORIDA DOT LTR IN RESPONSE TO NTSB 3/23/79 LTR OF INQUIRY: ACCIDENTS HAVE BEEN REDUCED STEADILY SINCE THE RAIL-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM BEGAN TO HAVE AN EFFECT - 61% REDUCTION SINCE 1974. THE ACCIDENT SEVERITY CONTINUES TO DECREASE AT A FASTER RATE THAN THE ACCIDENTS. SINCE THE MOST HAZARDOUS GRADE CROSSINGS HAVE BEEN SIGNALIZED FIRST, THE DECREASE IN ACCIDENTS SHOULD LEVEL OFF IN THE FUTURE. WORK ON THE AMTRAK PROJECT WILL BEGIN IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 3/2/1979
Response: Thank you for your prompt reply to our safety recommendations H-78-71 and H-78-79. We are pleased that your company is actively involved in implementing the "OPERATION LIFESAVER" program for railroad-highway grade crossing safety. The National Transportation Safety Board has been a proponent of this program for some time. We were instrumental in arranging for the National Safety Council to take the lead in selling the program to States not already involved. We hope that the expansion of your program is successful. We have had discussions with both the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) and the city of Plant City concerning the Turkey Creek crossing. We have found a reluctance on the part of Plant City to enter into a maintenance agreement with the State and the railroad company; however, the roadway at the crossing id in the process of being transferred to county jurisdiction. The county has stated that the maintenance agreement will be no problem. We will keep our file open on recommendation H-78-79 until the Turkey Creek crossing is upgraded. The Safety Board is aware of the current work in progress to upgrade the protection of railroad-highway grade crossings on the Jacksonville to Tampa corridor. We hope that the effort will be continued and redoubled. We have asked that the Florida DOT provide that Board with statistics concerning calendar years 1978 and 1979 accident rates along the corridor and provide a comparison with the total Amtrak system. Our file will remain open for H-78-71 until Florida provides such data.

From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 10/25/1979
Response:

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 1/12/1979
Response: LETTER FROM SEABOARD COAST LINE RAILROAD DATED 1/12/79: SEABOARD, AMTRAK, AND FLORIDA DOT ARE PRESENTLY ENGAGED IN A JOINT PROJECT TO INSTALL MORE CROSSING PROTECTION ALONG THE CORRIDOR. SEABOARD COAST LINES IN CONJUNCTION WITH FLORIDA DOT AND OTHER SAFETY ORGANIZATIONS HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN "OPERATION LIFESAVER." THIS PROGRAM IS BEING CONTINUED AND EXPANDED TO OTHER STATES IN WHICH SEABOARD OPERATES. LTR FROM FLORIDA DOT DATED 2/7/79: WE ARE PROCEEDING WITH THE AMTRAK PROGRAM DISCUSSED IN YOUR REPORT. LTR FROM FRA DATED 2/23/79 - FHWA HAS BEEN DESIGNATED TO BE THE LEAD OFFICE FOR DOT IN RESPONDING TO THE RECOMMENDATION. FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO FHWA. LETTER FROM FHWA DATED 5/8/78: FHWA RECENTLY AUTHORIZED A PROJECT IN FLORIDA USING FEDERAL FUNDS FOR THE INSTALLATION OR UPGRADING OF CROSSBUCK WARNING SIGNS ON THE AMTRAK CROSSINGS IN THE JACKSONVILLE-TAMPA CORRIDOR. FLORIDA IS ALSO CONTINUING THE USE OF SAFETY FUNDS TO UPGRADE PAVEMENT MARKINGS AND WARNING SIGNS IN THE CORRIDOR. 6/1/79 - FLORIDA DOT LTR IN RESPONSE TO NTSB 3/23/79 LTR OF INQUIRY: ACCIDENTS HAVE BEEN REDUCED STEADILY SINCE THE RAIL-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM BEGAN TO HAVE AN EFFECT - 61% REDUCTION SINCE 1974. THE ACCIDENT SEVERITY CONTINUES TO DECREASE AT A FASTER RATE THAN THE ACCIDENTS. SINCE THE MOST HAZARDOUS GRADE CROSSINGS HAVE BEEN SIGNALIZED FIRST, THE DECREASE IN ACCIDENTS SHOULD LEVEL OFF IN THE FUTURE. WORK ON THE AMTRAK PROJECT WILL BEGIN IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

From: NTSB
To: Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
Date: 10/25/1979
Response:

From: NTSB
To: FRA
Date: 10/25/1979
Response:

From: FRA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/23/1979
Response: LETTER FROM SEABOARD COAST LINE RAILROAD DATED 1/12/79: SEABOARD, AMTRAK, AND FLORIDA DOT ARE PRESENTLY ENGAGED IN A JOINT PROJECT TO INSTALL MORE CROSSING PROTECTION ALONG THE CORRIDOR. SEABOARD COAST LINES IN CONJUNCTION WITH FLORIDA DOT AND OTHER SAFETY ORGANIZATIONS HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN "OPERATION LIFESAVER." THIS PROGRAM IS BEING CONTINUED AND EXPANDED TO OTHER STATES IN WHICH SEABOARD OPERATES. LTR FROM FLORIDA DOT DATED 2/7/79: WE ARE PROCEEDING WITH THE AMTRAK PROGRAM DISCUSSED IN YOUR REPORT. LTR FROM FRA DATED 2/23/79 - FHWA HAS BEEN DESIGNATED TO BE THE LEAD OFFICE FOR DOT IN RESPONDING TO THE RECOMMENDATION. FURTHER CORRESPONDENCE SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO FHWA. LETTER FROM FHWA DATED 5/8/78: FHWA RECENTLY AUTHORIZED A PROJECT IN FLORIDA USING FEDERAL FUNDS FOR THE INSTALLATION OR UPGRADING OF CROSSBUCK WARNING SIGNS ON THE AMTRAK CROSSINGS IN THE JACKSONVILLE-TAMPA CORRIDOR. FLORIDA IS ALSO CONTINUING THE USE OF SAFETY FUNDS TO UPGRADE PAVEMENT MARKINGS AND WARNING SIGNS IN THE CORRIDOR. 6/1/79 - FLORIDA DOT LTR IN RESPONSE TO NTSB 3/23/79 LTR OF INQUIRY: ACCIDENTS HAVE BEEN REDUCED STEADILY SINCE THE RAIL-HIGHWAY GRADE CROSSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM BEGAN TO HAVE AN EFFECT - 61% REDUCTION SINCE 1974. THE ACCIDENT SEVERITY CONTINUES TO DECREASE AT A FASTER RATE THAN THE ACCIDENTS. SINCE THE MOST HAZARDOUS GRADE CROSSINGS HAVE BEEN SIGNALIZED FIRST, THE DECREASE IN ACCIDENTS SHOULD LEVEL OFF IN THE FUTURE. WORK ON THE AMTRAK PROJECT WILL BEGIN IN THE NEAR FUTURE.