Other Reports

Trailer-on-Flatcar Car (TOFC) and Container-on-Flatcar Car (COFC) Loading and Securement Safety

  • 01
  • Sep
  • 1994
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
SUBJECT: Accident Reduction
KEYWORDS: Accidents, Site Surveys, Safety Assessment
ABSTRACT: Following the May 16, 1994, derailment of an Amtrak train caused by a collision with a trailer that fell from a flat car in Smithfield, North Carolina, the Secretary of Transportation directed the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to assess trailers on flat cars and containers on flat cars (TOFC/COFC) safety. The FRA assessment consisted of a search of the reported accident/incident statistics for the eleven-year period from 1983 to 1993 for TOFC/COFC related accidents/incidents and visits to 63 TOFC/COFC loading sites located across the country. The site surveys were done to assess loading crew knowledge and training; loading procedures; pre-departure inspection procedures; adequacy of design of, tie-down devices; and equipment maintenance programs. To ensure the survey included a broad, industry-wide perspective, FRA invited representatives of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Brotherhood Railway Carmen Division (BRC), Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the United Transportation Union (UTU) to participate. All these organizations have a strong interest in railroad safety. NTSB and UTU elected not to have representatives on the survey teams.
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