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Rail News: Safety

UP notes six-month decline in crossing collisions

UP’s crossing accident rate in the first half was 2.27 compared with 2.40 in 2016's first half.
Photo – Union Pacific Railroad

Union Pacific Railroad's rail safety programs contributed to a 5 percent decline in vehicle-train collisions at grade crossings in the first half of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, the Class I announced late last week.

UP logged a 2.27 crossing accident rate across its 23-state network compared to a 2.40 rate during 2016's first half, UP officials said in a press release. The rates are calculated by the number of Federal Railroad Administration reportable crossing accidents per million train miles.

"Communities play a big role in helping their friends, neighbors and family members staying safe around railroad tracks," said UP Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Cameron Scott. "We will continue working with local authorities to share our safety message and educate drivers."

Cities and counties determine where roads intersect with rail lines and warning signs at public crossings. UP's Crossing Assessment Process studies the crossing characteristics and focuses its efforts where incidents may be more likely to occur, UP officials said.

While all crossings complying with UP maintenance standards are safe for drivers, the program identifies safety enhancements that may require working with cities to add signage, such as pavement markings, they added.

For private crossings, the Class I works with landowners to find alternative access that doesn't cross the railroad.

Under its Crossing Accident Reduction and Education Safety (UP CARES) awareness program, UP works with communities. UP CARES events are held annually across the Class I's 23-state network to educate pedestrians, motorists and truck drivers about how to stay safe around railroads and crossings.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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