America's railroads today honored the industry's safety achievements and celebrated railroads with the best employee safety records at the annual E.H. Harriman Awards. According to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), 2010 was the safest year ever for railroads, with significant reductions achieved in train accidents and employee casualties.
In 2010, train accidents on U.S. Class I freight railroads were down 3 percent with the rate per-million-train-miles falling 9.6 percent from the previous record established in 2009. The number of employee casualties on U.S. Class I freight railroads fell by 14.2 percent, while the employee casualty rate measured per-hundred full-time equivalent employees declined 16 percent from the previous record set in 2009.
"It is the tremendous dedication and hard work of our employees that makes rail the safest mode of transportation today," said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. "Our industry continuously invests, innovates, improves and implements systems and technology that make our business ever safer."
The 2010 E.H. Harriman Awards winners are as follows:
In Group A, comprising line-haul railroads whose employees worked 15 million employee-hours or more, Norfolk Southern received the gold award for the 22nd year in a row. CSX Transportation won the silver award and Union Pacific Railroad the bronze award.
In Group B, line-haul railroads whose employees worked 4 to 15 million employee-hours, the gold award went to Kansas City Southern Railway for the fifth year in a row. The silver award went to Canadian Pacific (U.S. Operations), while the bronze went to Canadian National (U.S. Operations).
Group C includes railroads whose employees worked between 250,000 and 4 million employee-hours. The gold award went to the Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad, while the Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroads took the silver and the Paducah and Louisville Railway the bronze.
In Group S&T, for switching and terminal companies with more than 250,000 employee hours, the Gary Railway took the gold, while the silver award went to the Port Terminal Railroad Association and the Union Railroad received the bronze award.
One railroad in each category was honored for showing the most improvement in injury rates between 2009 and 2010. Awards went to CSX Transportation (Group A); CN, U.S. Operations (Group B); Pacific Harbor Line (Group C), and the Port Terminal Railroad Association (S&T).
The Harriman Awards were established by the late Mrs. Mary W. Harriman in memory of her husband, Edward H. Harriman, an American legend in railroading. Today, the awards are administered by the E.H. Harriman Memorial Awards Institute, with support from the Mary W. Harriman Foundation. Harriman winners are selected by a committee of representatives from the transportation field and are granted on the basis of the lowest casualty rates per 200,000 employee-hours worked. All data is documented by the Federal Railroad Administration.