NTSB Spotlights Positive Train Control

The day before its Feb. 27 public forum in Washington, D.C., the safety board will conduct a hearing on a head-on collision of two Union Pacific trains in June 2012.

The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public forum on Positive Train Control on Feb. 27, one of two events that week with the technology as the centerpiece. The forum is titled "Positive Train Control: Is it on Track?" and will gather experts to discuss PTC and the regulatory and operational status.

"Over forty years since the NTSB issued its first recommendation addressing collision avoidance technologies on the railroad and after years of dialogue with industry officials, we continue to investigate accidents where PTC could have prevented the accident and saved lives," NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said.

An example is the collision to be examined Feb. 26 by the board in a hearing that likewise will be held in the NTSB Conference Center in Washington, D.C. Two Union Pacific freight trains collided head-on June 24, 2012, at about 10 a.m., while operating on a straight track near Goodwell, Okla. Three of the four crewmembers aboard the two trains died, but the fourth jumped from one of the locomotives prior to the collision and survived with no major injuries. According to NTSB, damage was estimated at $14.79 million.

"Although this investigation is still ongoing, factual information indicates that if positive train control had been in use, the safety technology designed to supplement the human operation of trains, it could have prevented the collision," according to its meeting announcement, which says the board will examine UP's management of human error in its operations and its system safety programs. Parties to the investigation include FRA, Union Pacific Railroad, the United Transportation Union, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen.

PTC has been on the board's Most Wanted List of safety improvements since 1990.

Congress passed the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 after a high-profile collision killed 25 people in Chatsworth, Calif., including in it a requirement that Class I railroads and regularly scheduled intercity and commuter rail passenger carriers submit plans for implementing a PTC systems by Dec. 31, 2015.

"As the industry prepares to make substantial infrastructure investments, this is a timely opportunity to engage in the dialogue and advocate for this important safety enhancement," Hersman said.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

    November December 2021

    Featuring:

    • GAS DETECTION
      How to Streamline Gas Detector Maintenance
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2021
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      How PPE Can Help You Deal with the Harsh Condition of Winter
    • HEARING PROTECTION
      Tackling Hearing Protection in the Workplace
    View This Issue