The Surface Transportation Board posted preliminary statistics Thursday showing that fatalities on U.S. railroads increased 18.2% to 370 in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2009.
The principal contributors to the increase were trespassing fatalities, which increased 20% to 228, and grade-crossing fatalities, which were up 12.7% to 124.
Train accidents cased six fatalities in this year’s first six months, compared with one in the prior-year period. There were 10 employee fatalities this year, the same as in the 2009 period.
The number of accidents and incidents reported by 740 railroads totaled 5,403 in this year’s first half compared with 5,424 reported by 741 railroads in the 2009 period.
Train accidents were down 5.4% to 892 in the 210 period. Collisions were down 7.5% to 62, and derailments declined 2.4% to 640. Yard accidents declined 1% to 488.