Safety Recommendation Report: Rail Transit Vehicle Safe Braking

On January 4, 2017, at 12:47 p.m., eastern standard time, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) trolley car 9101, with 41 passengers, was traveling north on trolley route number 10 when it stopped at the southeast corner of Lancaster Avenue and 38th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to offload passengers. SEPTA trolley car 9085, with five passengers, traveling in the same direction, collided with the rear of the stopped SEPTA trolley car at an estimated speed of 11 miles per hour (mph). Emergency responders transported both operators and 46 passengers to local hospitals for nonlife-threatening injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is very concerned about latent defects of any kind that may exist in rail transit systems, such as the failure of the emergency brake push-button electrical switch found during follow-up testing as part of the investigation of this accident. The expectation that rail transit vehicle brake systems are performing as designed is achievable only through proper maintenance, thorough inspection, periodic brake performance testing, and independent oversight. Therefore, the NTSB recommends the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) utilize its authority under Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 670.25, and immediately issue a general directive that would require all state safety oversight agencies (SSOAs) to direct rail transit agencies to periodically test the performance of their rail transit vehicles’ braking systems to detect potential latent system failures.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 4p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01637039
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: RSR-17-01, Accident Number: DCA17FR003
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 2017 2:17PM