Safety board issues recommendations related to 2009 train crash

August 19, 2010

The National Transportation Safety Board on Aug. 11 issued 22 safety recommendations related to a 2009 fatal train crash on the Red Line in Washington, D.C.

An NTSB investigation determined failure of a track circuit module was the probable cause of the collision of two Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority trains on June 29, 2009. The failure caused the automatic train control system to lose detection of one train, allowing a second train to strike it from the rear. Nine people aboard the second train were killed and dozens were injured as a result of the incident.

The safety recommendation letters (.pdf file) are directed at 12 organizations and government agencies, including:

  • Department of Transportation
  • Federal Transit Administration
  • Tri-State Oversight Committee
  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
  • Board of Directors of WMATA
  • Alstom Signaling Inc.
Fourteen of the recommendations were directed at WMATA, including those relating to train detection, inspection and maintenance procedures, safety information availability, removal of processes that interfere with train control systems, and safety analysis.