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Data Profile: Railroad Accident/Incident Reporting System
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Railroad Accident/Incident Reporting System
Railroads report all rail-related accidents and incidents to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) monthly. The data includes rail-equipment train accidents, highway-rail grade crossing accidents, fatalities, and injuries.

A reportable rail-equipment train accident is one in which damage to equipment, track, and railroad structures is in excess of $6,600 dollars (the dollar amount has been adjusted for inflation; in 1975 the dollar amount was $1,750) that does not include loss of lading, clean up costs, societal costs, loss of main line, personal injury or death. Data are collected 30 days after the close of the month in which the accident occurs and updated when the costs associated with the accident are 10% higher than initially reported.

The definition of a reportable highway-rail crossing crash is any highway user (car, pedestrian, bicycle, etc.) hitting or being hit by on-track equipment at a highway-rail crossing. Data are collected 30 days after the close of the month in which the accident occurs.

The Railroad Accident/Incident data has been collected since 1975. The only significant change occurred in 1997. Prior to 1997, commuter railroads that had Amtrak or other carriers run the railroad for them had their accidents aggregated in other railroads injury reports. Beginning in 1997, these railroads had to report their own injuries and accidents separately.

FRA accident/incident reporting requirements apply to all railroads except:

A railroad that operates freight trains only on track inside an installation which is not part of the general railroad system of transportation or that owns no track except for track that is inside an installation that is not part of the general railroad system of transportation and used for freight operations.

Rail mass transit operations in an urban area that are not connected with the general railroad system of transportation.? A railroad that exclusively hauls passengers inside an installation that is insular or that owns no track except for track used exclusively for the hauling of passengers inside an installation that is insular.? An operation is not considered insular if one or more of the following exists on its line:

A public highway-rail grade crossing that is in use;

An at-grade rail crossing that is in use;

A bridge over a public road or waters used for commercial navigation; or

A common corridor with a railroad, i.e., its operations are within 30 feet of those of any railroad.

FRA's data download and query system can be accessed at http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/officeofsafety/.
Data cover all U.S. railroads.
First Year1990
Last Year2003
  • Monthly data are available for January 1990 through June 2002.
   Summary Tables
   National Transportation Statistics
Fatalities and Injuries of On-Duty Railroad Employees
Highway-Rail Grade-Crossing Safety and Property Damage Data
Injured Persons by Transportation Mode
Rail Profile
Railroad And Highway-Rail Crossing Fatalities
Railroad Labor Productivity
Railroad Passenger Safety Data
Railroad System Safety and Property Damage Data (Excludes highway-rail grade-crossing accidents)
Railroad and Grade-Crossing Fatalities by Victim Class
Railroad and Grade-Crossing Injured Persons by Victim Class
Reporting Thresholds for Property Damage by U.S. Department of Transportation Modal Administrations
Train Fatalities, Injuries, and Accidents by Type of Accident
Transportation Accidents by Mode
Transportation Fatalities by Mode
   Related Links
Association of American Railroads
Railroad Safety Statistics
   Data Source and Contacts
Data Provider AgencyFederal Railroad Administration
Data Provider OfficeOffice of Safety Analysis
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