19. March 2012 14:44
As a follow up to a recent blog post, I decided to investigate statistics from the Federal Railroad Association Office of Safety Analysis.
How safe are America's railways?
Here's a snapshot of safety results from 2001 to 2010:
- Total number of rail accidents or incidents decreased by 28.3%.
- Hazardous material releases decreased by 34.4%.
- Derailments decreased by 40.2%.
- Collisions decreased by 40.5%.
From 2001 to 2010, both injuries and fatalities fell, by 24.7% and 25.3%, respectively. The number of accidents or incidents per million train miles fell by 27.9%.
Safety improvements through the decades
The evidence supports long-term trends. In 2010, the Association of American Railroads noted that the train collision rate had declined 89.9% since 1980.
In the same news release, AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger credited improved safety rates to record investments by freight rail lines: in infrastructure, equipment and technology.
Note: The infographic was first published before data from December 2011 had been released. 2011's statistics continue the trend towards greater safety. In fact, the accident / incident rate was 16.3 events per million train miles in 2010. The rate fell to 15.2 in 2011, an improvement of 6.7% year over year.
► Read Marly's original rail safety post at the Greater Memphis Chamber's logistics blog.
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