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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

FRA data shows U.S. railroads record fewer train accidents, worker fatalities through September


Through 2006’s first nine months, U.S. railroads continued to reduce train accidents and prevent employee fatalities, according to preliminary Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) data.

Train accidents decreased 13.1 percent and the accident rate per million train miles dropped 15.3 percent compared with similar 2005 data.

In addition, the employee casualty rate declined 12 percent, number of employee fatalities plummeted 52.4 percent and grade crossing incident rate decreased 3.7 percent. However, the number of crossing fatalities increased 3.1 percent compared with similar 2005 data.

If trends hold through year’s end, railroads will record their lowest-ever train accident, employee casualty and grade crossing incident rates, the FRA said.

In addition, collisions dropped 28.6 percent, the number of derailments declined 9.5 percent and yard accidents fell 18.4 percent compared with similar 2005 data.

“These [safety] improvements are especially satisfying given the fact that during the first nine months of this year, railroads moved more freight than ever before,” said Association of American Railroads President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/19/2006