We are living in the safest era ever for U.S. railroads.

According to Federal Railroad Administration data, U.S. railroads had their lowest mainline train accident rate on record in 2017 — down 32% over the past decade. This achievement is due in large part to the industry’s strong safety culture, visible in everything from training to operational protocols.

Even so, accidents sometimes occur. From 2013 to 2017, issues with track and equipment were responsible for 54% of mainline train accidents, while human error was the leading factor in 26% of accidents. Railroads prioritize investments to address and eliminate the causes of these accidents, knowing they will have a significant impact on the long-term safety of the freight rail network.

Technology plays a crucial role in achieving that goal. Today’s rail technology enables railroads to inspect their track and equipment with greater efficiency and reliability. These advanced tools also empower rail employees to make better decisions, giving them an inside view of the rail network’s infrastructure, well beyond what the human eye can see.

The power and promise of rail technology will become even more evident in the years ahead as railroads seek to apply technology solutions to their ultimate goal — an accident-free future.

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