Mr. Jefferies said the railroads have taken several steps to improve safety after the East Palestine accident. Previously, the industry required railroads to stop and remove a rail car if wheel bearing temperatures reached 200 degrees Fahrenheit. In July, the association required that action to be taken at 170 degrees. (According to a track-side detector, the wheel bearings of the East Palestine train reached 253 degrees at one point.)
Union Pacific, the largest railroad in the United States based on miles of track, reported a 32 percent increase in accidents over the period. Company spokeswoman Kristen South said that some accidents, such as those caused by objects on the tracks, are beyond the railway’s control and the focus should be on “serious” derailments, adding that the union had the highest number of accidents in this category last year. There was a decline of 5 percent. Prashant.
BNSF, the second-largest U.S. railroad, owned by Warren E. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, saw a 10 percent increase in accidents over the period. BNSF spokeswoman Kendall Kirkham Sloan said the company was the nation’s safest railroad based on federal government safety measures and that accidents were being reduced through training and technology.
CSX, the third-largest railroad, reported a 31 percent increase in accidents over the 10-month period. Brian Tucker, a spokesman, said the company’s safety performance was “challenged” by hiring many new employees after the pandemic, but it increased its training last year, and that contributed to a sharp decline in accidents in the fourth quarter. Gave. As a result, CSX reported Wednesday the accident rate — which measures accidents as a percentage of the distance traveled by trains — was slightly lower in 2023 than in 2022. (Its total accidents are still up.)
The five railways’ overall performance last year would have been worse had it not been for a significant improvement at Norfolk Southern, which recorded 29 accidents on its main lines in the first 10 months of 2023, down 46 from 37 percent in the same period in 2022. ,