Wednesday, July 01, 2009

U.S. rail fatalities continue to decline

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Fatalities reported by U.S. railroads continued to decline in this year's first four months, according to statistics released July 1 by the Federal Railroad Administration's Office of Safety Analysis. The report gives accident/incidents comparisons for the last four years.

Rail fatalities totaled 209 in the January-April 2009 period, down 1.9% from the corresponding period last year and down 21.7% from the same period in 2006.

Grade crossing fatalities were down 5.6% this year to 67 and down 42.7% from the 2006 period. Trespassing fatalities increased 2.3% to 134 in this year's first four months, up 2.3% from last year but down 8.2% from 2006.

The FRA report lists seven employee fatalities through April this year, compared with six in the 2009 period and three in January-April 2006.

A total of 3,326 accidents and incidents were reported in this year's first four months by 696 large and small railroads. This was down 20.2% from last year and 24.5% from 2006.

Train accidents were down 31% from last year, to 587, and 38.6% from 2006. Collisions were down 29.7% from the 2008 period, to 45, and 22.4% from 2006.

Derailments in this year's first four months were down 32.4% to 417, and down 38.9% from 2006. Yard accidents declined 34% to 300 from last year and were down 44.1% from 2006. 

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