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84% Fewer Fatalities: How Indian Railways Recorded Best Safety Record in 5 Years

Renewal of tracks on a large scale, regular safety reviews, improved safety training for staff as well as a close inspection of safety performance done between September 2016 and August 2017 are crucial factors that led to this favourable safety record.

The Indian Railways has reported its best safety record in five years for the 12-month period from September 2017 to August 2018.

According to the official data, last year (September 2016-August 2017), a total of 80 train accidents occurred in India and they claimed 249 lives, while this year, the number shows a steep decline—the national transporter had to account for 40 deaths, which is an 84% reduction from last year.

This certainly confirms that the Railways has implemented and maintained optimum security measures, and we only hope that this trend will continue.

Representative image. Source: Pankaj Oudhia/ Commons Wikimedia.

Citing official data, a senior Railways official said, “Comparing the figures of the period between September 1, 2013 to August 31 2014, to that of the number between September 1 2017, to August 31, 2018, the fatality figures in collisions and derailments (whose causes the railways can address, according to the official) taken together have come down from 62 to 4—a 93 per cent reduction…”

The rest of the 36 deaths were due to mishaps at unmanned level crossings (UMLCs), manned level crossings, coach fire accidents and one has been registered under ‘miscellaneous.’

Elaborating on the number of injuries caused due to collisions and derailments, the official said that the number has come down from 272 last year to 12 this year.

“The total number of collision and derailments have come down from 69 to 56 during this period,” he said.

Representative image. Source: Gopal Aggarwal/ Commons Wikimedia.

Renewal of tracks on a large scale, regular safety reviews, improved safety training for staff as well as a close inspection of safety performance done between September 2016 and August 2017 are crucial factors that led to this favourable safety record.

The Railways has also started removing unmanned level crossings—1565 UMLCs were removed in 2017-18 and the railway official said that the plan is to remove 1600 more in the coming year.


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In July this year, the Indian Railways has also inducted five futuristic machines that will ensure safer travel. You can read about it in detail here.

From cleanliness, free services and safety precautions, the Indian Railways is always taking steps to make your travel more comfortable and enjoyable. Although 40 deaths in a year is still a high number, the rate of decline in fatalities and accidents is excellent news.

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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