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UIC issues 2013 yearly report on Railway Accidents in Europe

According to UIC’s report, the total number of fatalities on Europe’s railways declined from 1095 in 2011 to 1011 in 2012 according to the International Union of Railways’ (UIC) annual Railway Accidents in Europe report. However the number of number of fatalities in the staff category of victims has increased by 57%, from 28 to 44 (28 of whom were hit by a train) and in the level crossing users by 17%, from 280 to 329.

Split of fatalities per category of victim 2011 2012
Trespassers 719 595
Level crossing Users 280 329
Others 36 11
Staff 28 44
Passengers 32 32

Source: UIC safety database (21 European railway companies)

The UIC Safety Database has been collecting data since 2001 and now contains data from 21 European UIC member railways. 4.1 million train-kilometres in the year 2012 were operated on the networks, carrying 7.5 billion passengers and 1 billion tonnes of freight.

The database managed by the Safety Unit aims to create an inventory of information containing not only accident statistics, but comprehensive detail about causes, circumstances and consequences of accidents.

Rail Transport is the safest land transport mode and continuously improves its safety. The efforts of the UIC Safety Database Members to optimise the safety level in all fields of railway operation have led to a 21% decrease in fatalities since 2006.

Main causes of significant railway accidents in 2012 Internal   External
Text 1Human factors 15%  
Technical failures 6%  
Weather &  Environment    3%
Pedestrian at Level Crossing    8%
Vehicle at Level Crossing   18%
Other third  parties   4%
Trespassers   46%

It is possible to note that 79% of all accidents had external causes in 2012, most of these accidents were caused by trespassers and level crossing users.

In fact, only 21% of the total significant accidents recorded in the UIC Safety Database had internal causes comprising technical, organisational and human failures inside the railway operation system.

The UIC Safety Database Report is available at: http://safetydb.uic.org

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