Mr. Jefferies mentioned the railroads had taken a number of steps after the East Palestine accident to enhance security. Previously, the business required that railroads cease and take away a rail automobile if a wheel bearing’s temperature hit 200 levels Fahrenheit. In July, the affiliation required that motion at 170 levels. (The wheel bearing on the East Palestine prepare at one level reached 253 levels, in keeping with a track-side detector.)
Union Pacific, the most important railroad within the United States as decided by miles of observe, reported a 32 p.c improve in accidents within the interval. Kristen South, an organization spokeswoman, mentioned that some accidents, like these brought on by objects on the observe, had been past a railroad’s management and that the main target ought to be on “severe” derailments, a class that she mentioned fell 5 p.c final yr at Union Pacific.
BNSF, the second-largest U.S. railroad, owned by Warren E. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, confirmed a ten p.c improve in accidents within the interval. Kendall Kirkham Sloan, a BNSF spokeswoman, mentioned that the corporate was the most secure railroad within the nation, primarily based on the federal authorities’s measures of security, and that accidents had been being lowered by coaching and know-how.
CSX, the third-largest railroad, reported a 31 p.c improve in accidents within the 10-month interval. Bryan Tucker, a spokesman, mentioned the corporate’s security efficiency had been “challenged” by its hiring of many new staff after the pandemic, however final yr it bolstered its coaching, and that contributed to a steep drop in accidents within the fourth quarter. As a end result, CSX on Wednesday reported an accident fee — which measures accidents as a proportion of the distances traveled by trains — that was barely decrease in 2023 than in 2022. (Its complete accidents nonetheless rose.)
The 5 railways’ complete efficiency final yr would have been worse had it not been for important enchancment at Norfolk Southern, which reported 29 accidents within the first 10 months of 2023 on its principal strains, down 37 p.c from 46 in the identical interval of 2022.