Railway Safety

Archive Report

Rail Accident and Travel Safety Records

Increase of Railroad Passenger Fatalities in 1950

Three major train wrecks in 1950, two on the Long Island Rail Road and one on the Pennsylvania, took the lives of 144 persons and sharply reversed a six-year downward trend of railway passenger fatalities. During the war, when railroad equipment and railroad workers were put to severe strain to move unprecedented traffic loads, the number of railway accidents, fatalities, and injuries mounted far above prewar levels. But the safety record began to improve before the end of the war and showed marked betterment in the postwar years.

Passenger fatalities fell from a peak of 278 in 1943 to only 37 in 1949, which was the smallest number for any year in American railroad ...

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