New Report Says Safer Rail Not Just a Pipe Dream

Aug 06, 2015, 07:00 ET from Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Rail industry stakeholders must deploy innovative and advanced technologies to combat rail safety incidents, according to a new report released today by the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii). The paper is the first of its kind on rail technologies and catalogues commercially available innovative technologies and best practices aimed at enhancing rail transportation.

The in-depth report titled, "Back on Track: Bringing Rail Safety into the 21st Century," examines the nation's aging rail infrastructure and highlights current deficiencies in the rail system. Based on government data, the report found that approximately 73 percent of all derailments between 2011-2014 were the result of two factors: faulty track integrity and human error. Incidents will likely continue to occur if these issues are not addressed in a timely and comprehensive manner, according to the report.

"Where government and industry intersect, we must proactively place the focus on preventing rail incidents from taking place before they occur," Aii Chairman, Brigham McCown said. "By leveraging best practices and available technologies we can ensure all measures are in place to prevent future incidents."

Aii's proposals include increasing the use of commercially available technologies to continuously monitor track, equipment, and roadbed conditions; conducting more effective and more frequent track and rail inspections; and implementing operational and technological improvements to reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by human factors.

The report calls for both industry and government to leverage innovative technologies on the rail network to ensure maximum safety on American railways. While proactive steps have been taken to protect citizens from rail mishaps, such as the new tank car standards by the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), the paper states more can be done to address the problem.

"In light of recent passenger and freight derailments, it is imperative we re-focus the debate and dialogue over rail safety from the commodity being transported to track and rail integrity, and mitigate the potential effects of human error," McCown concluded.

The Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure is an independent, non-profit alliance focusing on innovation and infrastructure through awareness and education.

Contact: Ashley VanBuskirk
Phone: (202) 808-0591


SOURCE Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure