Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Railroad accidents decline

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

The latest Federal Railroad Administration accident report, covering this year's first four months, again shows strong safety gains for railroads.

The number of freight train collisions declined 26.5% to 38 compared with the same period last year. Derailments were down 24.5% to 389. The number of yard collisions dropped 18.8% to 389. There were only three reported railroad employee deaths, compared with seven in the 2011 period.

The 738 large and small reporting railroads informed the FRA of a total 3,294 accidents/incidents, a 9.6% drop from the 2011 period.

"Rail-related" accidents were another matter. Trespasser deaths increased 12.6% to 185, and motor vehicle fatalities at grade crossings increased 7.87% to 83.