U.S. railroads reported 144 train accidents in January, down 26.9% from the 197 accidents recorded in January 2009, according to a preliminary report released March 31 by the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis.
Derailments declined 27.1% to 102, and collisions were down 82.4% to three. The number of yard accidents dropped 28.6% to 65.
Taking exposure to risk into account, the rail accident rate was down 23% in January from January 2009, and the yard accident rate dropped 20.7%.
There were 43 reported fatalities in January, an increase of 7.4% from January 2009. Reversing a long downward trend, trespasser fatalities increased 33% to 24. Continuing a trend, rail-highway crossing fatalities dropped 5.6% to 17. Two employee fatalities were recorded, compared to four in January a year ago.