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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-19-017
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 STATE OF WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Discontinue the use of the Talgo Series VI trainsets as soon as possible and replace them with passenger railroad equipment that meet all current United States safety requirements.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Initial Response Received
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: State of Washington, Department of Transportation (Open - Initial Response Received)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: State of Washington, Department of Transportation
To: NTSB
Date: 9/17/2019
Response: -From Roger Millar, P.E., FASCE, FAICP, Secretary of Transportation: WSDOT is coordinating with Amtrak, the operator for the Cascades, to implement short and long-term plans to replace the Series VI trainsets as soon as possible with equipment that meets all current safety requirements. For the long-term plan, WSDOT is following its 2017 fleet management plan for new equipment that identified replacement of aging trainsets and established goals associated with the acquisition and operation of new equipment. WSDOT is participating in Amtrak's national procurement along with the states of New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, and the North New England Passenger Rail Authority for new passenger rail equipment. WSDOT recently was awarded a federal State of Good Repair grant in August 2019 for $37.5 million to procure new passenger rail cars. For the short-term plan, Amtrak originally proposed the use of conventional equipment (Horizon and Superliner) with a goal to implement the change by October 2019. However, that plan did not proceed when Amtrak notified us that passenger trains in Southern California and the Midwest were required by Host Railroads to increase axel counts to mitigate for grade crossing shunting issues in which gates and lights are not being activated. WSDOT was informed all of the additional equipment identified for the planned October 2019 replacement of the Series VI trainsets would need to be used to augment existing passenger trains to have at least 24 to 30 axles for shunting needs. WSDOT is waiting to receive Amtrak's updated short-term options that may include using additional Talgo Series 8 equipment originally manufactured for Wisconsin and some Amtrak-owned conventional equipment. Amtrak is in the process of developing a plan and detailed schedule that addresses safety. performance, financial, and cost requirements in order for WSDOT to understand its options from Amtrak. At this time, we anticipate WSDOT owned Taiga Series VI trainsets to be removed from service by June 2020.

From: NTSB
To: State of Washington, Department of Transportation
Date: 6/24/2019
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 assist victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. We are providing the following information to urge your organization to act on the safety recommendations in this letter because we believe your organization can help reduce the risk of future accidents. For more information about NTSB and our recommendation process, please see the attached one-page summary. On May 21, 2019, the 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 recommendations 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 Washington State Department of Transportation. Additional information regarding these recommendations can be found in the noted sections of the report. • Discontinue the use of the Talgo Series VI trainsets as soon as possible and replace them with passenger railroad equipment that meet all current United States safety requirements. (R-19-017) (See section 2.6.5.) The NTSB also makes the following safety recommendation to the Washington State Department of Transportation, Amtrak (National Railroad Passenger Corporation), and the Oregon Department of Transportation. • Develop and implement a program by which all railcar seats that are designed to rotate be checked for proper positioning and securement in place before the railcar can be placed into or returned to passenger carrying service. (R-19-018) (See section 2.7.4.) 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, 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-19-017). 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.