New safety statistics posted on the Federal Railroad Administration's website Wednesday show that railroad fatalities declined 13.5% to a total of 45 in January compared with January 2008. Trespasser fatalities were down 15.4% to 22 and deaths at highway/rail grade crossings declined 17.4% to 19. There were three employee fatalities in January, compared with one in January last year.
These figures generally extended the trend set in 2008, when total fatalities declined 5.7% to 797, with trespassing fatalities down 3.4% to 454 and grade crossing fatalities down 14.9% to 285. There were 25 employee fatalities last year, compared with 17 in the prior year.
Comparing January 2009 with January 2008, total accidents/incidents were down 15.5% to 892; train accidents declined 23.1% to 170; the number of collisions dropped 31.6$ to 13; derailments were down 22.2% to 123; and yard accidents decreased 21.6% to 80.