Monday, January 04, 2010

Rail accidents/incidents down 18.2% in 10 months of 2009

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U.S. railroads reported 8,861 accidents and incidents to the Federal Railroad Administration in the first 10 months of 2009, down 18.2% from the prior-year period, according to a preliminary report released Dec. 31 by the FRA's Office of Safety Analysis.

Rail fatalities for the period, mainly caused by grade crossing collisions and trespassing incidents, declined 12.8% to 598. Crossing fatalities dropped 13,6% to 294. Trespassing deaths were down 6.6% to 350.

There were 13 employee fatalities during the 2009 period, down 40.9% from last year's 23 and the lowest since the 10 deaths recorded in the first 10 months of 2006.

Train accidents were down 29.9% to 1,514 in January-October 2009, collisions were down 29.2% to 114,  derailments were down 28.7% to 114, and yard accidents were down 29.8% to 814.