Railroads are safer today than ever before," said AAR President Edward Hamberger. "We are proud of the investments the rail industry has made to improve safety for employees, passengers and the public at large. Rail technology is constantly evolving, and we will continue to invest in new technologies, training and processes aimed at preventing incidents before they ever happen."
Overall, 2012 set a new record for railroad safety, breaking the previous record set in 2011, which in turn broke the record set in 2010. In 2012, the employee casualty rate was down 9% and the grade crossing collision rate was down 8%.
The AAR said in a statement, "According to FRA data, from 1980 to 2012 the U.S. train accident rate fell 80 percent and the U.S. rail employee injury rate fell 85%. Since 2000, the declines have been 45 percent and 52 percent, respectively. Train collisions per million train-miles have dropped 87% since 1980 and 36 percent since 2000."