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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Train accidents, employee casualties down last year, but trespasser fatalities rise, AAR says

Last year, train accidents dropped 13.2 percent and the train-accident rate, 13.8 percent (from 4.25 million train-miles to 3.66), compared with 2001, according to preliminary 12-month Federal Railroad Administration data released by Association of American Railroads.

The employee casualty rate per 200,000 man-hours decreased 13.8 percent, from 3.30 to 2.85.

"If the final figures remain close to 2.85, last year will go down as the safest year ever for railroad employees," AAR said in a prepared statement.

Also last year, rail-related casualties dropped 14.3 percent; highway-rail grade-crossing incidents, 5.6 percent; and grade-crossing fatalities, 16.4 percent, compared with 2001.

However, trespasser fatalities increased 6.1 percent. Of all rail-related fatalities, 94 percent involved either grade crossings or trespassers, AAR said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/7/2003