Table 2-39: Railroad System Safety and Property Damage Data

Table 2-39: Railroad System Safety and Property Damage Data

(Excludes highway-rail grade-crossing accidents)

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  1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Fatalities 785 575 584 454 599 567 551 602 577 530 512 550 (R) 594 531
Injured persons d17,934 50,138 58,696 31,617 22,736 12,546 10,948 10,227 10,156 10,304 10,424 9,828 (R) 10,104 7,956
Accidentsa 8,095 8,041 8,205 3,275 2,879 2,459 2,443 2,397 2,575 2,768 2,983 3,023 (R) 2,738 2,958
Train-miles (millions)b,c 839 755 718 571 609 670 671 677 683 712 723 712 (R) 729 744
Rate per 100 million train-miles                            
Fatalities 94 76 81 80 98 85 82 89 84 74 71 77 (R) 82 71
Injuries N 6,641 8,179 5,538 3,735 1,873 1,632 1,511 1,487 1,446 1,442 1,381 (R) 1,387 1,069
Accidents 965 1,065 1,143 574 473 367 364 354 377 389 413 425 (R) 376 398
Property damage (current $ millions) 121.6 177.4 267.4 179.3 198.7 189.2 212.3 210.7 233.9 245.1 263.2 314.5 (R) 266.5 295.8

KEY: N = data do not exist; R = revised.

a Train accidents only; excludes highway-rail grade-crossing accidents.

b Train-miles in this table differ from train-miles in the vehicle-miles table in Chapter 1. Train-miles reported in Chapter 1 include only Class I rail (see glossary for definition), while this table includes Class I rail, Group II rail, and other rail. In 2003 Group II rail accounted for 82 million train-miles, and other rail for 31 million train-miles. Moreover, the vehicle-miles table in Chapter 1 includes only train-miles between terminals and/or stations, thus excluding yard and switching miles. In 2003, Class I yard/switching train-miles totaled 62 million train-miles. Note that commuter rail safety data are reported in the rail mode and the transit mode. Commuter rail train-miles are included in Class I rail and Group II rail in this table.

c A train-mile is the movement of a train (which can consist of many cars) the distance of 1 mile. A train-mile differs from a vehicle-mile, which is the movement of 1 car (vehicle) the distance of 1 mile. A 10-car (vehicle) train traveling 1 mile would be measured as 1 train-mile and 10 vehicle-miles. Caution should be used when comparing train-miles to vehicle-miles.

d 1970 injuries not comparable to later years due to change in reporting system.

NOTE

This table includes information for both freight and passenger railroad operations.

SOURCES

Fatalities, injuries, accidents, and property damage:

1970-90: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Office of Policy and Program Development, Accident/Incident Bulletin (Washington, DC: annual issues), tables 14 and 15.

1995-2000: Ibid., Railroad Safety Statistics Annual Report 2000 (Washington, DC: July 2001), tables 1-1 and 3-1.

2001-04: Ibid., Internet site http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/Query/Default.asp as of Mar. 7, 2005.

Train-miles:

1970-90: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, National Transit Database (Washington, DC: annual issues), form 406.

1995-99: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, Internet site http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/Forms/Default.asp as of Aug. 22, 2002.

2000-04: Ibid., Internet site http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/Query/Default.asp as of Mar. 7, 2005.