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U.S. rail fatalities down 11.9% in first half of 2009

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

U.S. railroads reported 327 fatalities in the first six months of 2009, mostly due to trespassing and highway-rail grade crossing collisions. That was an 11.9% improvement over the 371 fatalities reported in the same period last year.

Trespassing fatalities dropped 8.6% to 202; grade crossing fatalities were down 16.0% to 110; and employee fatalities declined 23.1% to 10.fra_dot_logo.jpg

Preliminary statistics compiled by the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis showed that 711 large and small railroads reported 5,035 accidents and incidents in this year’s first half, down 20.8% from the same period last year.

Train accidents declined 30.3% to 892. They resulted in no fatalities, compared with one in the 2008 period.

Collisions were down 27.3% to 64; derailments fell 33.6% to 619; and yard accidents declined 32.9% to 461.