From the chlorine used to purify drinking water to the crude oil that brings the U. S. closer to energy independence, America’s freight railroads transport some of the most essential hazardous materials (hazmat).

Today, more than 99.999% of all hazmat moved by rail reaches its destination without a release caused by an incident.

Because hazmat safety is a joint responsibility, freight railroads work with hazmat shippers, railroad suppliers and government partners to develop specialized initiatives, regulations and standards to help ensure these important goods are transported safely and securely. These initiatives — coupled with the rail industry’s ongoing commitment to infrastructure investment, technology innovation, rigorous employee training, self-imposed operating practices and community safety efforts — have lowered hazmat accident rates by 41% since 2008.

Railroads have adopted special operating practices for hazmat transport to help ensure these sensitive commodities are shipped safely and securely.

Download Backgrounder

Download Fact Sheet