The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association marked a significant safety achievement as the industry's 603 short line railroads operated for a full year fatality-free.
“Our shortline members focus every day on ‘making it a safe one.’ Safe operations are good for our customers, good for the public interest, good for our employees, and good for business,” said Linda Bauer Darr, president of ASLRRA. “ASLRRA is proud to partner with shortlines, supporting a safety focus through compliance audits, training opportunities, the Jake Award program and committees that advance safety initiatives and technology that drives safety. All of us working in partnership can take pride in today’s industry achievement.”
Shortlines operate 47,500 rail miles in 49 states, or 29 percent of freight rail. One in five cars are handled by member shortlines, providing the first or last mile of the journey.
The association put the mark in perspective, noting fatalities are on the rise in other transportation segments. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fatalities for freight transportation rose 5.4 percent in 2015 from 2014. In OneRail’s 2016 report, Rail Safety in the United States, per 10 billion ton-miles fatal accidents involving freight rail take place at less than one- third the rate of truck accidents (3.6 vs 11).
Darr also credited the work of the Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) and its influence on the industry.