What makes rail so safe?

Safety considerations play a major role in transport choice. In principle, rail is to be classified as a very safe means of transport. Rail freight transport is many times safer than road freight transport. Hence, dangerous goods are often transported by rail.

One reason for rail safety lies in its track-bound nature, i.e. the trains remain on their track. In addition, there are many independent control and safety systems. If accidents nevertheless occur, they are often based on a combination of technical failures and human errors or other road users’ misconduct (e.g. when crossing level crossings).

Nevertheless, accidents occur on rail transport, which in individual cases result in very serious damage, e.g. the accident in Viareggio, Italy, in 2009.