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Train accidents on the rise in Alabama

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An article from The Montgomery Advertiser addresses the problem of railroad accidents in Alabama, which have reportedly doubled over the past 10 years.

The Federal Railroad Administration released statistics that blame track issues for many of these train accidents, including drailments, collisions or obstructions on the tracks. The statistic does not include crashes involving trains and motor vehicles crossing the tracks.

The article details the following statistics:

(block quote)
“Nationally, rail accidents declined from 3,236 in 2005 to 2,834 in 2006, but FRA numbers show an increase in Alabama accidents during the past year. They went from 72 to 75. That is just part of a larger trend in which the state went from 37 accidents in 1997 to more than twice that number last year.

Alabama had 613 train accidents over the 10-year span. Most (73.6 percent) were caused by either human error or track conditions.

Track conditions are blamed for a higher percentage of train accidents now than 10 years ago. In 1997, track conditions were blamed for 11 of 37 accidents in Alabama. By 2006, that number was 39 of 75.”

It seems that this problem is significant in the state of Alabama, especially in comparison with the declining number of accidents nationally.

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070603/BUSINESS/706040334/1003