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AAR reports 2010 was safest year in U.S. freight railroad history

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today announced that 2010 was the safest year in U.S. Class I freight railroad history, with preliminary year-end data indicating the industry’s train accident and employee casualty rates both were at record low levels.

The safety data, which is released by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), shows that the total number of train accidents involving U.S. Class I freight railroads declined by 3 percent in 2010, with the rate per-million-train-miles falling 9.6 percent from the previous record established in 2009. The number of employee casualties on U.S. Class I freight railroads fell by 14.2 percent, while the employee casualty rate measured per-hundred full-time equivalent employees declined 16 percent from the previous record set in 2009.

"These safety accomplishments demonstrate the depth of the freight railroad industry's commitment to the safety of our employees, the communities we serve and the country's rail network infrastructure," said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “Safety is not an option for the railroads. It drives how we conduct our business day in and day out.”