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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-14-055
Details
Synopsis: On May 28, 2013, about 1:59 p.m., a 2003 Mack Granite three-axle roll-off straight truck, operated by Alban Waste, LLC, was traveling northwest on a private road in Rosedale, Maryland, toward a private highway–railroad grade crossing. The grade crossing consisted of two tracks and was marked on each side with a crossbuck sign. The truck was carrying a load of debris to a recycling center located 3.5 miles from the carrier terminal. About the same time, a CSX Transportation Company (CSXT) freight train—which consisted of two locomotives, 31 empty cars, and 14 loaded cars—was traveling southwest at a recorded speed of 49 mph. As the train approached the crossing, the train horn sounded three times. The truck did not stop; and as the train traversed the crossing, it struck the truck on the right side, causing the truck to rotate and overturn before coming to rest on the earthen embankment on the northwest side of the tracks. The first 15 cars of the 45-car train derailed.
Recommendation: TO THE CSX TRANSPORTATION COMPANY: Until the improvements cited in Safety Recommendation R-14-54 are made, take action to reduce the risk of grade crossing accidents through the corridor comprising highway–railroad grade crossings 140833J, 140831V, 140828M, and 140829U.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Railroad
Location: Rosedale, MD, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY13MH013
Accident Reports: Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing Collision
Report #: HAR-14-02
Accident Date: 5/28/2013
Issue Date: 10/22/2014
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: CSX Transportation, Inc. (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: CSX Transportation, Inc.
Date: 6/24/2015
Response: We understand that you have taken measures to reduce risks at grade crossings in the rail corridor by cutting vegetation, trees, and shrubs, and that you plan to replace signs at the crossings. We note that you have also instructed train crews to sound the horn when approaching crossings in this corridor and that you are revising applicable train bulletins and timetables to require crews to sound the horn when approaching private, as well as public, crossings there. Pending our receipt and review of your bulletins and timetable, along with an update on the clearing of vegetation and replacement of signs, Safety Recommendation R-14-55 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: CSX Transportation, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 1/20/2015
Response: -From Bruce Rose, Director, Train Accident Prevention: CSXT has taken steps to reduce the risk of grade crossing accidents at the accident crossing and at other nearby crossings in the rail corridor. a. The Accident Crossing CSXT has improved visibility and safety at the accident crossing. As the NTSB notes in its Accident Report that was released on October 22, 2014, the accident crossing, 140833J, is a private crossing. FRA regulations and Maryland law do not address vegetation that might cause or create sight obstructions at private crossings. CSXT, however, sprays vegetation for weed control at all crossings, private and public, throughout its system annually. CSXT also brush sprays all public and private crossings on a three-year rotation. In addition, there is an easement that governs maintenance responsibilities at crossing 140833J. CSXT contends that the easement makes a third-party responsible for controlling vegetation at that crossing and within the easement area. In light of the May 28, 2013 accident and a second accident on August 5, 2014, and despite the maintenance requirements of the easement, in August 2014, CSXT notified the easement holder that it was taking measures to improve visibility for drivers at the accident crossing. Specifically, CSXT removed trees, shrubs and other vegetation on all quadrants of the private crossing. CSXT also removed a fence running between the railroad tracks and the road on the south side of the crossing and modified the signage at the crossing. These measures improved visibility both at the crossing and along the road approaching it, increasing opportunities for drivers to notice approaching trains. b. Nearby Crossings CSXT is actively working to reduce the risk of accidents at the three other nearby private crossings referenced in the NTSB's recommendations, 140828M, 140829U, and 140831V. Historically, CSXT has performed weed and brush spraying at these crossings as described above. In response to the NTSB recommendation that CSXT take interim measures to improve safety at these crossings, CSXT plans to cut vegetation on its railroad corridor at these three crossings. The cutting should be completed within 60 days. Once the cutting is accomplished, CSXT will replace the signage at these crossings. These voluntarily efforts parallel the vegetation clearing and signage placement performed at the accident crossing, 1408331. Additionally, CSXT is instructing its crews to sound the hom in this corridor. For the two accidents at crossing 1408331, both crews sounded the hom as they approached the crossing. Generally absent exigent circumstances, however, CSXT is only required to sound the horn at public crossings. But CSXT is now revising its applicable Train Bulletins and Time Tables to require crews to sound the horn at each of the subject crossings, regardless of their status. This should be accomplished in the next week. CSXT takes these measures in the spirit ofR-14-55 to offer interim support to the State of Maryland and the County. Based upon these actions, CSXT requests that NTSB designate the status of R-14-55 as Closed-Acceptable Action.