'Close call' reporting system improves safety for railroads: study

May 30, 2012

Washington – The Federal Railroad Administration’s Confidential Close Call Reporting System improves safety culture and reduces derailments for railroad companies, according to a new study (.pdf file) by FRA’s Office of Railroad Policy and Development.

FRA surveyed employees at one of four railroad companies testing the system and found:

  • The system improved all nine factors of safety culture tracked in the study.
  • Train derailments decreased about 15 percent over time.

Implementing the systems universally among all carriers would be worth the investment because of the positive impact on safety culture and preventing incidents, the researchers concluded.