Thursday, June 07, 2012

Rail accidents down sharply in first quarter

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor
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The Federal Railroad Administration's Office of Safety Analysis has reported strong safety gains for 726 reporting railroads in this year's first quarter.

Train accidents were down 21.9% to 396 compared with first-quarter 2011. The number of collisions declined 18.2% to 27, and yard accidents were down 16.8% to 218. Total accidents and incidents added up to 2,474, a decline of 10.5% from the 2011 period.

The number of fatalities at highway-rail grade crossings was down 8.6% to 464. Trespasser fatalities increased 49.3% to 106. This accounted for a 25% increase in total rail-related fatalities. There were three employee fatalities, compared with four in last year's first quarter.