You are here
Railroad System Safety and Property Damage Data
(Excludes highway-rail grade-crossing accidents)
This table includes information for both freight and passenger railroad operations.
KEY: N = data does not exist; R = revised.
a 1970 injuries are not comparable to later years due to a change in reporting system.
b Train accidents only; excludes highway-rail grade-crossing accidents.
c 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 2005, Group II rail accounted for 78 million Train-miles, and other rail for 29 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 2009, Class I yard/switching Train-miles totaled 63 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.
d 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.
Fatalities, injuries, accidents, and train-miles:
1970-85: 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.
1990-2018: Ibid., tables 1.12, available at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ as of Nov. 14, 2019.
1970-85: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, National Transit Database (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), form 406.
1990-2018: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration, table 3.16, available at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/ as of Nov. 14, 2019.