Latest Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) figures reveal 2014/15 was the eighth consecutive year without passenger or workforce fatalities in a train accident on British railways.
With passenger numbers rising 4 percent to 1.66 billion and record levels of investment, the latest Annual Safety Performance Report suggests this is the longest sustained level of rail safety on record. The last fatality in a train accident occurred in 2007 when a passenger train derailed in Cumbria. The RSSB report also confirmed there were no passenger train derailments for the second year running which is also the longest sustained period on record.
Figures also reveal a 6 percent increase in the number of passenger and public assaults including those in station and train locations, the first increase since 2008/09. In addition, twenty-two people were fatally injured while trespassing on the railway, the same number as in 2013/14 and suspected suicides increased by 15 on the previous year.
RSSBâ€™s Director of System Safety, George Bearfield said: â€œWhile we are pleased to be reporting some positive figures today, no one in the rail industry is complacent about safety and there remain areas of concern that we will be working with the industry to address. However, rail remains one of the safest forms of transport. The reports being released today are part of the robust evidence base that the industry uses to develop and drive targeted safety improvements.
â€œThe rail industry takes the issue of suicide very seriously. RSSB is part of a cross-industry National Suicide Prevention Group which has been set up to tackle the issue of railway suicide and is supported by the Samaritans. Local Samaritans branches also work with station managers, station staff from both Train Operating Companies and Network Rail and the British Transport Police, in prevention and post-incident support work.â€
Alongside the Annual Safety Performance Report, RSSB has published the Learning from Operational Experience Annual Report (LOEAR) which provides learning information for the rail industry based on investigating specific events and through the regular monitoring of rail safety trends. Both reports can be viewed here.