Freight rail accidents fall, despite recent derailments

July 7, 2015

railyard1-150pxDespite high-profile train derailments in Tennessee and Pennsylvania, railroads remain relatively safe transportation for people and freight, federal statistics show.

A derailment late Wednesday near Maryville, Tenn., of a CSX freight train carrying acrylonitrile, a hazardous material used to make plastics, rekindled attention in rail safety. So did the derailment May 12 of an Amtrak train in Philadelphia that killed eight people.

The number of freight train accidents dropped nearly in half during the last decade, to 1,644 last year from 3,094 in 2005, according to Federal Railroad Administration statistics.

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