Tuesday, November 06, 2012

FRA reports new rail safety gains

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

The Federal Railroad Administration's preliminary safety report for the period January-August 2012 shows continued safety gains in key areas of freight railroading.

The number of train accidents declined 15.2% compared with the prior-year period, with collisions down 21.6% to 91 and derailments down 13.3% to 850. The number of yard accidents dropped 9.6% to 648.

Railroad employee fatalities declined to 14 from 18 in the January-August period last year. But for reasons beyond the railroads' control, rail-related fatalities increased 3.5% to 477. This was mainly due to a 13.2% increase in trespasser fatalities, which rose to 301. Reversing a recent trend, fatalities at highway-railroad grade crossings were down 13.5% to 148.