Railroad personnel can submit reports to NASA C3RS when they are involved in, or observe an incident or situation in which railroad safety might be compromised. All report submissions are voluntary. Reports sent to NASA C3RS are held in strict confidence. C3RS de-identifies all reports before entering them into the safety report database.

All personal and third party references (carriers, employees mentioned, etc.) are removed or de-identified. Dates, times, and related information which could be used to infer an identity, are either generalized or eliminated.

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It may be necessary for the NASA C3RS rail safety analyst to contact a reporter to clarify or obtain additional data for an accurate, detailed understanding of a report. Once the report analysis is completed, the identification strip is removed and mailed to the reporter at the address you provide. The identification strip is proof the reporter can use to demonstrate he or she submitted a NASA C3RS report.

No. NASA will never reveal the identity of someone making a report.

  • NASA de-identifies all personal and carrier information from a C3RS report so that the identity of the reporting employee or anyone mentioned in the report cannot be determined.
  • Dates, times, locations, and related information, which could be used to infer an identity are either generalized or eliminated.
  • Personal information such as names, locations, and other identifying information will be removed and the report's identification strip will be returned to the reporter.
  • This de-identification is completed before report records are provided to your Peer Review Team (PRT), if established for your carrier.
Original Report Narrative as submitted:

Train 123 left NASA Ames going to Kennedy Space Center. We were going 50 MPH and entered a Form A restriction at 32 MPH at MP 100.

I applied the brakes and got below the required speed of 30 MPH. The restriction was covered in the job safety briefing, but I misjudged the braking distance to get the train below the required speed of 30 MPH.

De-identified Report Narrative in DBQT:

Train A left Station X going to Station Y. We were going X MPH and entered a Temporary Speed Restriction at Y MPH [2 MPH overspeed] at MP X.

I applied the brakes and got below the required speed of Z MPH. The restriction was covered in the Job Safety Briefing, but I misjudged the braking distance to get the train below the required speed of Z MPH.

How Reports Are Processed

  • Report Receipt

    Report Receipt

    NASA C3RS paper reports are picked up daily from the Moffett Field Post Office or are received electronically via website Electronic Report Submission (ERS).

  • Date/Time Stamp

    Date / Time Stamp

    Every report is date and time stamped on the date of receipt.

  • Screening


    Two C3RS Expert Analysts independently "screen" each report within five working days to provide initial analysis of the narrative.

  • Match Multiples

    Match Multiples

    Based on initial screening, multiple reports on the same event are brought together to form one database "record."

  • Analyst Coding

    Analyst Coding

    During the detailed report analysis process, reports are codified by an Expert Analyst using the C3RS taxonomy that was developed by NASA in coordination with FRA and industry experts. Expert Analysts evaluate the content of the reports and underlying contributing factors.

  • Callback

    Callback to Reporter

    A C3RS Expert Analyst may call a reporter on the telephone to clarify or obtain additional information. This information may be added to the analysis and final record.

  • De-identify


    To ensure confidentiality, all identifying data is removed or generalized. After analysis, the Identification Strip (the top portion of the report) is returned to the person reporting. This ID strip acts as the proof of submission.

  • Quality Check

    Quality Check

    All reports go through several steps to assure accuracy. Final quality assurance checks are performed for coding quality and confidentiality.

  • Forward to PRT

    Forward to PRT

    C3RS sends the Peer Review Team (PRT) the de-identified report summary for review. The PRT may recommend corrective actions to the carrier after their independent analysis of the report.

  • Database Entry

    Database Entry

    Final coded and de-identified reports are stored in the NASA C3RS Database. The reports can be accessed using the DataBase Query Tool (DBQT). Go to DBQT.

  • Destruction of Originals

    Destruction of Originals

    Original reports, both physical and electronic data, are eliminated to protect reporter and carrier confidentiality.

  • Products and Services

    Products & Services

    C3RS uses the information it receives to promote safety through a number of products and services such as our ‘Inside The Rail’ newsletter.