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templated change is now before the Commission for consideration. Before any action is taken on future proposed changes, all interested parties will be given full opportunity to submit objections or other comment.


Washington, D.C., June 17, 1966. THE COMMISSIONERS, Interstate Commerce Commission, Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: On April 1, I directed a letter to all members of the Interstate Commerce Commission submitting certain suggestions of the Railway Labor Executives' Association on transportation matters. Among the comments in that letter was a reference to rumors of proposals by carriers to revise reports on employees, hours and compensation. As I stated, knowledge of these proposals had come to the employees indirectly. We had not been advised by the carriers or by the Commission that such a project was under consideration.

Under date of June 7, I have a reply to my letter of April 1, over the signature of the Chairman of the Commission. In an Appendix to that reply, prepared apparently by members of the staff of the Commission, there is the categorical statement on its page 27 that "no contemplated change is now before the Commission for consideration." I respectfully suggest that this statement is in error. Since April 1 the Railway Labor Executives' Association has been advised by the Commissioner of Labor Statistics that proposed revisions of the M-300 are under consideration by that Bureau as well as by other government agencies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has invited representatives of railway labor unions to confer on this subject of these revisions, and has placed the content of those pro. posals before our representatives. We have also incontrovertible evidence that the Bureau of the Budget directed a communication to the Interstate Commerce Commission as of the latter part of 1965 specifically requesting a study and comments of the proposed revisions to be submitted to that Bureau by September 30, 1966.

As the members of the Interstate Commerce Commission must know, the principal use of employment and compensation statistics as reported in the Commission's Statement M-300 is in collective bargaining and legislation affecting the employees represented by the Standard Railway Labor Organizations. This method of reporting was originally established in 1921 in a joint effort of the Commission and the United States Railroad Labor Board, to facilitate application of the labor provisions of the Transportation Act of 1920. The occupational classification system specifically was established by the Labor Board which was a tri-partite body; thus, railway employees had a strong voice in originating the system through which employment and compensation information has been collected and published for over forty years. When revisions were made in later years, the employees were consulted. In 1962, when the Commission entertained proposals to change the reporting system, the employees were advised of the project; they protested, and utlimately the Commission rejected the proposals.

In the light of this background, it is shocking that the Commission would entertain proposals such as those outlined to us by the Commissioner of Labor Statistics without advising the representatives of Railway Labor.

Other statements in the Appendix demonstrate very clearly the need for a public hearing upon the matters covered in our original letter of April 1. We should advise you that we believe a large part of the material in the Appendix is open to serious question, and cannot be adequately handled in the process of exchanging memoranda. It was not the intention of our original letter to submit more than seemed necessary to indicate that the whole of the Commission's reporting and statistical procedures should be reviewed with the participation of all of the interested parties. We must renew that suggestion, fortified in our conviction by the Appendix to the letter of June 7, 1966. Very truly yours,



(The following material was submitted for the record :)


Washington, D.C., June 4, 1968. Hon. HARLEY O. STAGGERS, Chairman, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CHAIRMAN STAGGERS: The testimony of various witnesses on behalf of the Association of American Railroads included some references to factual elements that call for some comment, clarification and correction. Among these elements, some have already been covered adequately in the statements submitted by Messrs. Chesser, Crotty and Homer in materials already submitted in these hearings. These include statements on two technical questions :

1. The use of gross ton-miles as a measure of exposure of employees, or other human beings, to conditions causing railroad accidents;

2. The effect of prices on the number of “train accidents" reported. Mr. H. C. Daulton's statement adds a number of technical comments that cannot be left without some analysis.

Beginning on page 3, Mr. Daulton criticizes the use of "train accidents" in any analysis of the railroad safety record. This is indeed an odd position for the carriers to adopt. For a "train accident" in simplest terms is a train wreckan incident involving collisions of cars or locomotives, or derailments of such equipment or contacts between such railroad equipment and highway vehicles. For purposes of statistical consistency, a minimum "cost of damage" standard is used to define a "train accident." This minimum, of course, is far below the actual cost of most train accidents which had an average cost per accident in 1966 of over $14,000. Now, for the carriers to contend that "train accidents" are not a measure of railroad safety is absurd. The "train accident" or train wreck is the railroad counterpart of the airplane crash; although the latter entails more casualties per incident, it is no more or less a guide to air safety than is the train wreck a guide to rail safety.

Of course, railroading, by its nature, is a hazardous business. As a result, there are thousands of circumstances occurring every year that cause deaths and injuries but do not involve train wrecks or "train accidents." Men are caught between two moving cars and are maimed; some fall beneath the wheels of moving equipment and are killed. The railroad accident reports are coded in such a way as to delineate hundreds of such individual causes of casualties. If such accidents occur in service connected with train or car movement, they are referred to as train-service accidents; if not, they are called non-train accidents. In common safety parlance, where they concern employees, they are referred to as industrial accidents. Casualties in train accidents must be added to such accidents to derive the totality of the railroad safety record.

But train accidents are the major occurrences that create heavy potential safety problems for everyone employees, and the general public. They are a direct-and historically consistent-measure of railroad safety, long accepted by everyone as a meaningful standard for this purpose.

Mr. Daulton makes reference on page 6 to some differences between the railroads and other industries in methods of reporting casualties. Such differences were largely eliminated in the changes made in the railroad reporting rules in 1961. Since then, the 24-hour disability standard has been followed in both reporting systems. Other minor procedural distinctions raised by Mr. Daulton on page 6 are of little significance. Moreover, they are consistent factors and do not invalidate historical trends.

Mr. Daulton's technical objections based on inter-industry comparisons attain the height of absurdity on page 13, where he alludes to comparisons in Mr. Homer's Memorandum of fatalities on the railroads with fatalities on the airlines and on regulated motor carriers. Mr. Daulton-after characterizing the comparisons as "improper”-states that he "must assume Mr. Homer was unaware of these reporting differences.” Mr. Homer is aware of some technical difficulties inherent in the reporting differences for non-fatal injuries. However, he believes a death is a death, and is no less final and complete on the railroads than elsewhere. Expert distinctions in this facet of safety reporting are quite meaningless, and the fatality comparisons made in Mr. Homer's original memorandum are quite valid.

The Daulton statement also criticizes the Homer comparison of certain categories of train accidents based on the use of “millions of locomotive and motor

train-miles.”. For his information (apparently he was not aware of this fact) locomotive and motor train-miles are the standard exposure measure used for this purpose by the Interstate Commerce Commission for many years.?

It is suggested that it would somehow have been more appropriate in the specific comparisons referred to for Mr. Homer to have used gross ton-miles, or carmiles. Among the factors that have caused the increase in railroad accidents in recent years have been the longer and faster trains and the greater weight of such trains. These developments have caused greater wear to car wheels, and brakes, for instance, and greater impact on track and roadway. These circumstances create need for additional maintenance attention-perhaps for more careful inspection, perhaps for more maintenance employees. But, one defective wheel on a train can cause a train accident to the whole train, and to the crew members on that train. The number of cars and wheels increases the number of wheels that may be defective, but the exposure to casualties is not inereased in the same sense. Only one crew on a train is exposed even though the likelihood of an accident is greatly intensified on longer trains. Mr. Daulton's standard for computing accident rates may be of great interest to those who are in charge of maintaining wheels, track or other items, but it does not measure the potential for train accidents or for crew casualties. In fact, as his factors increase (carmiles or gross ton-miles) the computed rate will correspondingly decline. Thus, given two accidents-one on a short train killing five men and one on a long train killing five men, the accident rate of the long train will be much lower than the rate of the short train, using his standard. But the same number of persons are killed on each. Using either number of train miles, or number of persons exposed, the rates would be the same.

The Daulton statement also criticizes the use of locomotive and motor trainmiles as an exposure factor for collisions. Here, no better alternative basis for such comparisons is suggested. Collisions can only be measured with reference to a standard which varies directly with train and locomotive movement, irrespective of train size, length or weight. Locomotive and motor train-miles alone meet this requirement. In his comment with respect to collisions, Mr. Daulton emphasizes the fact that many collisions occur in yard operations and that rates based on locomotive and motor train-miles which include all of the millions of miles covered by road locomotives introduce a degree of distortion into the comparisons made. Here, Mr. Daulton could have made a more precise computation to test his thesis as to whether the factor used in the Homer memorandum was actually a distorting element. The Interstate Commerce Commission has reported the number of switching collisions occurring in each of the years 1961 to 1966, and it is possible to estimate the number of yard switching locomotive miles from the data reported for locomotive engineers in yard service (I.C.C. statement M-300). From these figures one can derive the following rates for switching collisions alone based on yard operations:

Switching collisions per million yard locomotire miles Year: 1961

2. 84 1962

3. 05 1963

3. 46 1964.

3. 88 1965

4.29 1966

4. 87 As these figures indicate, the increase in the switching collision rate is also very striking and is comparable to that shown for total collisions on Table 21 of the Homer memorandum. Mr. Daulton's criticism, thus, has no valiidty.

Mr. Daulton criticizes Mr. Homer's use of certain I.C.C. data on motor carrier fatalities. It is conceded that the data used are not all-inclusive--that thousands of accidents occur affecting non-regulated carriers and private automobiles. However, the data used were those published by the Commission for the carriers subject to its safety controls. These data were not represented to include any. thing else, and no apology for their use is appropriate.

One comment is called for by a remark made by Mr. Moloney on page 22 of his statement in references to Table 20 of Mr. Homer's memorandum which shows "employee error” accidents. It should be remembered that accidents and injuries

1 See Annual Accident Bulletins of the Interstate Commerce Commission, Nos. 130-134, 1961 to 1965.

referred to as "employee error" are categorized as such by management alone. The showing of these accidents was appropriate in connection with a need for some controls over operating rules. Railroad operations are subject to extreme pressures at all times, and the number of railroad men available to meet these pressures has been declining. In meeting greater pressures, hazards will rise. Where operating rules can influence the acts of employees subject to such pressures and hazards, they are significant; such operating rules should be reviewable by regulatory authorities. Railway labor and railway management have lived for years with operating rules and collective bargaining agreements operating in their separate spheres. The imposition of government controls over the one area will not raise new problems as long as collective bargaining is allowed to continue functioning in the future as in the past.

Congressmen Moss and Kuykendall asked Mr. Daulton for information on employee accident rates. This information is supplied in the two tables appended hereto—for all railway classes, and for operating classes alone.

Congressman Friedel asked Mr. Daulton for information on the monetary costs of railroad accidents. This information has already been submitted in Table 33 attached to the Homer memorandum.

Congressman Blanton asked to what extent accidents reported occur in areas not now subject to existing Federal regulations. Regulated elements are confined to those accidents caused by defects in locomotives, air brakes and appurtenances, and draw bars and couplers (to a limited extent) in the equipment maintenance area, and to signal systems in the way and structures area. In 1965, the latest year for which these data have been published, there were 414 train accidents due to such causes, out of a total of 5,967 train accidents. Thus, 6.9 percent of the accidents occurred in areas where the government has some controls ; 93.1 percent in the uncontrolled areas.

In the course of his statement, Mr. Daulton said that a substantial number of train accidents are grade-crossing accidents. We believe the record should be more specific in this respect. In 1966, 351 out of 6,793 train accidents involved rail-highway collisions, or 5.2 percent of the total. In the same year, 3,746 out of 16,839 train service accidents involved rail-highway casualties or accidents, or 22.2 percent of the total. Very truly yours,


Chairman, RLBA Committee on Safety. Attachments.



Total casualties

Casualties per million man-hours

Casualties per thousand employees



1961. 1962. 1963. 1964. 1965. 1966. 19671


. 13


24 .25 .23 .25


1961. 1962 1963. 1964. 1965.. 1966. 19671

19,682 19, 156 19, 427 19, 973 18, 644 18, 195 17,529

12.53 12. 41 12. 89 13. 38 13. 12 13. 06 13.31

25. 44

.35 26.47 27.81 26.76 26. 50 26. 43

1 Preliminary.

Source of basic data: Interstate Commerce Commission, Transport Statistics in the United States, Accident Bulletin Nos. 130-134, statement M-300 and statement M-400; Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration.


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Source of basic data: Interstate Commerce Commission, "Transport Statistics in the United States," "Accident Bulletin" Nos. 130-134, "Statement M-300" and "Statement M-400;" Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Adminstration,


Washington, D.C., May 21, 1968. Hon. HARLEY STAGGERS, Chairman, House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Commission, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CHAIRMAN STAGGERS : This letter is written on behalf of The National Industrial Traffic League, which is a voluntary organization of shippers-large, medium and small-throughout the United States. The League's membership also includes groups and associations of shippers, chambers of commerce, boards of trade, etc. The League's members utilize all modes of transportation including carriage by railroad. No carriers are eligible for membership in the League.

We are advised that H.R. 16980 is set for hearing before your Committee on May 21, 1968. The purpose of this communication is to clarify certain provisions of the proposed legislation and to determine whether the League needs to request the opportunity to offer testimony before your Committee.

Thousands of industries throughout the United States, including members of the League, have so-called industrial sidings or spurs on their plants, warehouse or mine properties. These tracks are normally constructed by and at the expense of the industry and are maintained by and at the expense of the industry, but the common carrier railroads operate over them in receiving and delivering shipments.

We note in particular the provisions of Section 2(4), 2(6), 3(1), 3(2), 4(4) and 5(1) of H.R. 16980 : Section 2 (4) defines a "person" as

"... any individual, firm, copartnership, corporation, company, association, joint-stock association, or body politic; and includes any trustee, receiver, assignee, or other similar representative thereof." Section 2(6) states

“ 'Rail commerce' means any operation by railroad in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or the transportation of mail by railroad." Section 3 empowers the Secretary to prescribe:

“(1) minimum standards governing the use, design, materials, workman. ship, installation, construction, and performance of rail facilities and equipment:

(2) rules, regulations, and minimum standards governing the use, inspec. tion, testing, maintenance, servicing, repair, and overhaul of rail facilities and equipment, including frequency and manner thereof and the equipment

and facilities required therefor; ..." Section 4 preserves State Regulation as follows:

"State Regulation and Enforcement. Sec. 4 A State may regulate safety in rail commerce, in a manner which does not conflict with any Federal regu

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