NTSB issues speed restriction recommendations for trains

January 18, 2012

Washington – The National Transportation Safety Board has issued new railroad recommendations (.pdf file) for safe train speed levels.

Directed at the Federal Railroad Administration and four railroad operator unions and associations, the recommendations were issued in response to preliminary investigations that determined failure to follow restricted speeding rules contributed to five rear-end incidents, two of which resulted in fatalities, in 2011.

NTSB recommended that FRA and the associations provide railroad companies with information on restricted speed requirements and encourage them to provide additional training to operators.

According to the recommendations, when trains must occupy the same sections of track, crewmembers must be prepared to stop within “one-half the range of vision.”

NTSB asked FRA and each association to submit comments on the recommendations by April 12.