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Safety a theme of railroad association’s ‘State of the Industry’ report

moving freight train

Photo: RedLeash/iStockphoto

Washington – Cutting-edge technology and other innovations have improved railroad safety, according to the inaugural State of the Industry report from the Association of American Railroads.

AAR selected technology and safety as the themes for its first report, which will be followed by two more reports on different themes in 2016. Multiple reports are scheduled to be published each year.

AAR’s report is separated into five chapters:

  • An overview of railroad safety investments
  • How “big data” has enhanced railroad safety
  • Industry progress in implementing Positive Train Control
  • Emerging technologies such as the use of drones
  • Training programs and community outreach

Technology has helped save lives, AAR says. The railroad industry’s crash rate has dropped 45 percent since 2000 and 80 percent since 1980.

“The sweeping reduction in freight rail accidents and injuries over the last several decades is the result of stepped-up employee training as well as a dedicated team of safety experts who conduct rigorous research, examine problems in new ways, apply technological advances and novel changes to processes that ultimately make a safe system of transportation even safer,” AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger said in a press release. “We are proud of the industry’s efforts, including those highlighted in this report, and look forward to promoting more developments in the future.”

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