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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-19-016
Details
Synopsis: On December 18, 2017, at 7:34 a.m. Pacific standard time, southbound Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) passenger train 501, consisting of 10 passenger railcars, a power railcar, a baggage railcar, and a locomotive at either end, derailed from a bridge near DuPont, Washington. When the train derailed, it was on its first revenue service run on a single main track (Lakewood Subdivision) at milepost 19.86. There was one run for special guests the week before the accident. Several passenger railcars fell onto Interstate 5 and hit multiple highway vehicles. At the time of the accident, 77 passengers, 5 Amtrak employees, and a Talgo, Inc., technician were on the train. Of these individuals, 3 passengers were killed, and 57 passengers and crewmembers were injured. Additionally, 8 individuals in highway vehicles were injured. The damage is estimated to be more than $25.8 million. The accident investigation focused on the following issues: individual agency responsibilities in preparation for inaugural service, multiagency participation in preparation for inaugural service, Amtrak safety on a host railroad, implementation of positive train control, training and qualifying operating crews, crashworthiness of the Talgo equipment, survival factors and emergency design of equipment, and multiagency emergency response. As a result of this investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board makes safety recommendations to the United States Secretary of Transportation, the Federal Railroad Administration, United States Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Services Working Group, the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Oregon Department of Transportation, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), and the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority. The National Transportation Safety Board also reiterates four recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration and reclassifies three recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration.
Recommendation: TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES WORKING GROUP: (1) Identify all military installations that provide emergency services to areas outside of their installations, make them aware of this accident, and determine the effectiveness of the communications system between that military installation and the adjacent jurisdictions. (2) Implement a plan to address any deficiencies with interoperability caused by the incompatibility between the US Department of Defense communications system and that of adjacent civilian agencies.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Await Response
Mode: Railroad
Location: DuPont, WA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: RRD18MR001
Accident Reports: Preliminary Report Railroad Amtrak Passenger Train 501 Derailment DuPont, Washington December 18, 2017 RRD18MR001Amtrak Passenger Train 501 Derailment
Report #: RAR-19-01
Accident Date: 12/18/2017
Issue Date: 6/24/2019
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: United States Department of Defense, Fire and Emergency Services Working Group (Open - Await Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: United States Department of Defense, Fire and Emergency Services Working Group
Date: 6/24/2019
Response: On May 21, 2019, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) adopted its report, Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) Passenger Train 501 Derailment DuPont, Washington, December 18, 2017, NTSB/RAR-19/01. The details of this accident investigation and the resulting safety recommendation may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at http://www.ntsb.gov. As a result of this investigation, the NTSB identified the following safety issues: • Individual agency responsibilities in preparation for inaugural service • Multiagency participation in preparation for inaugural service • Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) safety on a host railroad • Implementation of positive train control • Training and qualifying operating crews • Crashworthiness of the Talgo equipment • Survival factors and emergency design of equipment • Multiagency emergency response Accordingly, the NTSB makes the following safety recommendation to the Secretary of Transportation. Additional information regarding this recommendation can be found in the noted section of the report. • (1) Identify all military installations that provide emergency services to areas outside of their installations, make them aware of this accident, and determine the effectiveness of the communications system between that military installation and the adjacent jurisdictions. (2) Implement a plan to address any deficiencies with interoperability caused by the incompatibility between the US Department of Defense communications system and that of adjacent civilian agencies. (R-19-016) (See section 2.7.7.) The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement this recommendation. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response to correspondence@ntsb.gov. If your reply exceeds 20 megabytes, including attachments, please e-mail us at the same address for instructions. Please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. The attached letter from the NTSB Chairman provides information about the NTSB’s May 21, 2019 report Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation) Passenger Train 501 Derailment, DuPont, Washington, December 18, 2017, NTSB/RAR-19/01. The details of this accident investigation and the resulting safety recommendations may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at http://www.ntsb.gov. For more information about NTSB and our recommendation process, please see the attached one-page summary. The NTSB is vitally interested in these recommendations because they are designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 90 days of the date of this letter, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement these recommendations. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendations by number (for example, R-19-019). We encourage you to submit your response to ExecutiveSecretariat@ntsb.gov. If your reply exceeds 20 megabytes, including attachments, please e-mail us at the same address for instructions on how to send larger documents. Please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response.