Global Transport and Logistics

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Category: Railway transport (Page 1 of 2)

Train Driver: A Noble and Inevitable Career in Railway Transportation

Italy, inside of the driver's compartment on an high-speed train Eurostar "Red Arrow" on the Milan-Bologna railway Stock Photo
A picture showing inside of a train driver’s compartment.                             Source:

The word ‘driver’ is a common word people use to refer to a person who moves or drives any type of motor vehicle such as car, bus, trailer, heavy duty truck, among others on the public roads. Therefore, everyone knows who a driver really is. And so, a car driver, bus driver, truck driver among others are all types of drivers in road transportation.
Who is a Train Driver?
Similarly, on the other hand, a train driver is a person who drives or moves a train on its tracks. However, to become a qualified train driver requires more intensive training program than to become a road driver. Moving people and cargo, in their large number, to their destinations effectively and safely indeed demands a lot of training and skills coupled with technical know-how or (mechanical knowledge) needed for safe operation. These, among others, explain why it’s a noble career in overland transportation.
It’s important to note that the train driver’s occupation has different names it’s called or known by in different countries. For instance, in Canada and America, the train drivers are called engineers(not synonymous with mechanical engineer) while in some other countries they are called, engine drivers, train drivers, loco pilots, motormen, and train operators. However, whatever names they are called is not the essence of this article; rather it’s really about the occupation, its role and importance in railway transportation.
It is no longer new that some railway transport companies in Europe are planning to be fully automated. It means that trains, as it were, will be operated through the computer and will be also monitored remotely from a station-based control room. However, in line with this new development, a research study was carried out by to know the likely problems related to this
The research, however, revealed that there are hidden core values of a train driver that must not be compromised by any railway industries. Quoting from the said research work, train drivers ‘anticipate, observe, interpret, and react to events in the surrounding environment. Furthermore, they are a significant interaction link between different actors…’
Nevertheless, the conclusion of this research work was that these inevitable roles of a train driver must be reckoned with otherwise, running a fully automated train transport system can affect transport safety and the quality of service rendered to the public.
Notable Responsibilities of a train driver
The task of a train driver as it’s noted above is far more than moving a train only on its track. The train driver performs more important functions during train operations that makes its role inevitable. As a result, the following are the responsibilities of a train driver:
1. Customer care: Train driver is expected to provide good customer care to passengers such that will enable them to patronize the service provider again for other trips. He is expected to build a good relationship with passengers during each operation, such as good and timely communication, operating according to the laid down rules and procedures for efficient and smooth transportation.
2.Safety: In transportation, safety always comes first; it is the first thing that must be considered, and therefore, one of the important responsibilities of the train driver is to ensure the safety of all the passengers during the operations. We all know that the train carries goods and passengers in large number. Therefore, safety and security in public transport operation is very important. He is expected to strictly adhere to safety rules.
3. Effective communication: The train driver also plays an important role in giving necessary information to both the passengers and the management at the right time. If there’s any problem during the operation, he is expected to communicate to the passengers in a calm manner that will not lead to any form of panic. He must be a good communicator both in verbal and written forms.

He also uses the radio communication to find out the state or the condition of the route he is traveling on. For instance, there may be problem on a section of the track; the engineer could be at work on the track, there could also be a blockage probably due to an accident at a level crossing, etc. In any of these situations, the radio communication could be used from the control room probably to divert the train to another route that is free and safer.
4. Concentration: He also demonstrates such a skill as focusing his attention for long periods of time during a long journey. This, he does, to enable him know the track layouts so as to plan stops for signals and stations since we know that the train cannot stop suddenly like a car or motor vehicle. Hence, stopping a train at any particular location must be planned ahead of time. This, indeed, is an additional responsibility in daily schedule of a train driver.
5. A vigorous alert: A professional train driver is expected to be watchful and able to think clearly to perceive a potential danger and to quickly act to avoid it. At times, tracks can be run through a dangerous territory and if the train driver is not vigilant enough this may lead to an unwanted rail accident.
The potential and capacity benefits of a train driver in rail transportation have made the services of train drivers a noble career in rail transportation system. Therefore, to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in railway transportation as well as to enhance its smooth operations, the need for the services of a train driver cannot be over-looked.

3 Major Types of Railway Accidents and 36 List of Causes Common to Them

Rail Accident

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It is an undeniable fact that rail accidents have become a significant concern in the world and this explains why several efforts have been made by different countries concerned to reduce the rate of accident in their countries. However, in this article are the 3 major types of railway accident and the list of their causes.

3 Major Types of Railway Accidents

  1. Collision Accidents
  2. Derailment Accidents and
  3. Other Means of Accidents                                                                                         1. Rail Accident by Collision

Image result for pictures of rail accidents

A collision is a crash in which 2 trains hit each other. In other words, a collision occurs when a train runs into another or an object. Once it happens, the result is always very serious, if not fatal. This is why collision is the most dangerous accident in rail transports. However, the major types of collisions include:

* Head-on collision,

* Rear-end collision and

* Side collision

Types of Rail Accident by Collision

Since a collision involves 2 or more objects crashing into one another, hence this type of crash includes:

  1. Collision involving Trains
  2. Collision involving a Train and a Motor Vehicle
  3. Collision Involving a Pedestrian

Collision involving Trains

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This is a head-on collision between 2 trains. This kind of accident always results to great disasters.

Collision involving a train and a motor vehicle

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Several motorists and passengers have lost their lives in level crossing accidents. It is very difficult if not impossible for a train to stop like a motor vehicle for any object at the level crossing.

Collision involving Pedestrian

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As a collision can occur between a train and a motor vehicle, likewise pedestrians, in fact, a collision involving a pedestrian or pedestrians is more likely to result infatality.

  1. Rail Accident by Derailment

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A derailment occurs when a train leaves its tracks; better still, a derailment is

said to occur when a moving rail suddenly runs off its tracks. When a single car or coach derails, it may affect other cars and at times, you see the whole train derails completely.

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A derailment can be due to a defaulted plain track, over speed at a cross section, junction or a collision, among others.

  1. Rail Accident by other meansImage result for pictures of rail accidents

    Fire Accident

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During a railway operation, a fire accident may occur in a train, probably due to a

vehicular electrical fault, or an attack by terrorists. People sitting on top of a train

and people hanging on a moving train may also fall down. These, among other

means, are possible ways by which accidents can occur in rail transport.

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List of Causes of Rail Accident

There many factors that can cause rail accident, below are the list of some of these factors:

  1. Communication Errors
  2. Brake Rigging Defects
  3. Hand Brake Defects
  4. Other Brake Defects
  5. Over Speed
  6. Body Defects
  7. Center-Plate/Car- body Defects
  8. Wrong Use of Switches
  9. Coupler Defects
  10. Track and Structure Defects
  11. Truck Structure Defects
  12. Obstructions
  13. Side-bearing, Suspension Defects
  14. Level Crossing Collisions
  15. Bearing Failure
  16. Axle Defects
  17. Track-Train Intersection
  18. Broken Wheels
  19. Other Wheel Defects
  20. Signal Failures
  21. TOFC/COFC Defects
  22. Road-bed Defects
  23. Non-Traffic Weather Causes
  24. Loco Electrical and Fires
  25. All other Locomotive Defects
  26. Track Geometry ( excl. Wide Gauge )
  27. All Other Car Defects


  1. Stiff Truck
  2. Rail Defects at Bolted Joint
  3. Joint Bar Defects
  4. Broken Rails or Welds
  5. Brake Operation (Main Line)
  6. Other Rail and Joint Defects
  7. Failure to Obey/Display Signal
  8. Train Length ( Car-mile- related and train-mile- related accident)
  9. Employee Physical Condition

10 Most Notable Reasons Why People Travel by Rail

passengers traveling by rail transport

passengers traveling by rail transport

All over the world where rail transportation exists, the high demand for it cannot
be denied. People like to travel by rail for both long and short distances within
and outside the country. Rail transport is becoming more attractive and popular,
mostly in Europe, North America and other parts of the world. Rail transport has
been an effective means of transporting people and goods in their large number
for over 10 decades.
In some countries such as India, North America, U.S., Canada, Japan, China to
mention but few, it will not take you a longer time before you see trains in their
large numbers in operation moving large number of people and goods along
thousands of miles in both urban and rural areas. One may wonder why many
people like to travel by rail.
In fact, in India, it will surprise you to see how many people patronize rail
transport. It is a common sight in India to see many people in their large number
hanging on the outside of the rail cars while hundreds of others sitting on top of
rail cars, though this is not a good safety attitude in India yet. The question
remains, why people like to travel by rail? Why do organizations these days also
choose rail transport as a means of transporting their products? However, below
are the notable reasons why people like to travel by rail:
1. It is economical: When you consider the long distance to be covered
and the amount of goods to be carried, you will discover that rail
transport is the right choice for you to use because it is cost-effective.
Bulk freight rail transport has the capacity to pull the weight of over
10,000 tons of goods at a cheaper rate. As many organizations also look
for ways to cut down transportation costs, hence, they use rail transport
as a means to achieve this aim. Even governments in different countries
also encourage their business owners to use rail transport for their
Some organizations that are into liquid and gas business also prefer to use
rail transport because there are rail cars specially built to carry such

People also like to travel by rail because it is much cheaper than to travel by
2. It accommodates more baggage: Rail transport allows passengers to
carry more bags without stress. People come with their baggage without
unnecessary limitations and if you are to pay for much luggage you
carry, you pay still at a cheaper rate too. So, many people like to travel
with their belongings by rail than by air.
3. It is less stressful: The stress a passenger needs to pass through before
boarding a flight is enormous. This is not so in rail transport, you don’t
need to have a stressful day before you can travel by rail.
4. Passengers enjoy fixed price: People also like to use rail transport
because of its relatively stable fares. They already know the amount
they are going to pay for their journey anytime, any day.
5. It is much more environmentally-friendly: the carbon emission from rail
transport is not as dangerous as the one coming out of an aircraft. This
is also one of the reasons why the government will also encourage
different organizations to use the rail transport for long-distance
journeys for their products than to use trucks or trailers.
6. It reduces travel time: High speed train can reduce your travel time by
half. In rail, you enjoy travel without unnecessary delay or traffic hold
7. Comfort and convenience: Trains these days are equipped with
comfortable seats that can make you feel relaxed without disturbing
anybody. You can move around during the journey to reduce the stress
of sitting down in a particular seat for hours. This is not possible in road
and air transport.
8. Free from traffic: People also like to travel by rail in order to avoid
unnecessary delay on the journey.
9. Travelling by rail, you will enjoy knowing more cities.
10. People like to travel by rail because it is safer than road transport and
the second safest mode of transport.

List of Rail Accidents in the World during the 3rd Quarter of 2017


NOTE: each crash contains the date; the country where the accident occurred; the kind of accident e.g. (crash) and the number of people killed or injured in the accident.


  1. July2nd in the US (derailment) people got injured but the exact figure was not given.
  2. July 21st in the US (derailment), 9 people injured.
  3. July 26th in Cameroon (derailment), 1 person killed.
  4. July 28th in Spain (crash), 48 people injured.
  5. August 11th in Egypt (collision), 40 people killed and133 injured.
  6. August 14th in UK (derailment), no one injured.
  7. August 15th in UK (crash), no one killed or injured.
  8. August 15thin UK (derailment), 2 people injured.
  9. August 19th in India (derailment), 23 people killed and 60 injured.
  10. August 20th in UK (derailment), no one injured or killed.
  11. August 22nd in the US (crash), 37 people injured.
  12. August 23rd in India (derailment), no one died or injured.
  13. September 11th in Switzerland (derailment), 30 people injured.


Total no of people injured: 319. Total no of people died no: 64



List of Rail Accidents in the World during the 2nd Quarter of 2017

Transport system, as it were, is playing a key role in globally. Without transport,
moving people and goods from one place to another for economic, social and
other reasons will be difficult if not impossible. However, the transport system
that plays a very important role in over-land transport in moving people and
goods in large number is rail transport. In addition, in recent times, the rate of
crashes in rail transport is becoming worrisome and this explains the need for this
article. To this end, below is the list of rail accidents during the second quarter of
NOTE: each crash contains the date; the country where the accident occurred; the
kind of accident e.g. (crash) and the number of people killed or injured in the

1. April 8th in Russia (collision), 50 people injured.
2. April 15th in Austria (collision), 9 people injured.
3. April 28 th in Netherlands (collision), no record of people died or injured.
4. May 1 st in Germany (derailment), 2 people injured.
5. May 13th in Greece (derailment), 3 people died and 15 injured.
6. June 27th in US (derailment and fire), 39 people injured.
Total no people injured: 115. Total people killed: 3

Source: Wikipedia

List of Rail Accidents in the World for 1st Quarter of 2017

Increase in rail accidents, around the world, is becoming worrisome these days, although it is still safer for one to travel by rail than by road. It is undeniable that in overland transport only the rail transport has the capacity to carry more goods and passengers than any other land transport. Therefore, the need to make our rail transport safer than before cannot be over-emphasized. However, here is the list of rail accidents around the world in the 1st quarter of 2017:

NOTE: each crash contains the date; the country where the accident occurred; the kind of accident e.g. (crash) and the number of people killed or injured in the accident.

  1. January 4t h in the US, Brooklyn(train crash): at least 103 people injured.
  2. January 21st in Indian: Kuneru train derailment: at least 41 people killed and 68 people injured.
  3. January 24th in the US; A Front runner (collision): no one killed or injured.
  4. February 14th in Australia; A V/Line Velocity(collision and derailment): 2 people injured.
  5. February 14th in Luxembourg; (collision) 1 person killed and 2 people injured.
  6. February 17th in Saudi Arabia (derailment due to flooding) 18 injured.
  7. February 18th, in Belgium; Leuven derailment: 1 person killed and 27 people injured.
  8. February 20th in South Africa; (collision) 100 people injured.
  9. February 21st in the US; (derailment) 4 people injured.
  10. February 28th in UK; 2017 Liverpool Lime Street collapse
  11. March 7th in the US; (derailment) no one killed or injured.
  12. March 7th in the US; 2017 Biloxi train crash, 4 people killed.
  13. March 10th in the US; (derailment)
  14. March 20th in UK (derailment)
  15. March 22nd in Switzerland; (derailment), 6 people injured.
  16. March 29th in India (derailment), 25 people injured.


Total no of people injured: 355; Total people killed: 47

Source: Wikipedia      


10 Ways You Need to Know to Prevent Rail Accidents

Rail accident is becoming worrisome these days; hardly will you see a week
without occurrence of rail accidents in the world. As transport demand for rail is
increasing day by day, so also there’s direct increase in rail operations or
activities, hence you see trains moving in different directions on their track and
since they share land with motorists and other road users e.g. cyclists, pedestrian
etc, the risk of people being involved in rail accident becomes inevitable.
For instance, in U.S. it was discovered that the train hits a person or a vehicle
every 3 hours and this accident always causes serious injuries or deaths. Source:
Beyond Our Rails.
However, it is important to know that these accidents are consequences of
human errors that deserve individual special attention because they are
preventable accidents. To this end, here are the ways to prevent rail accidents:
1. Be careful because rail has no inbuilt capacity to stop for you like a vehicle.
It takes not less than a mile or more for an average train traveling at 55
miles per hour to stop for you.
2. If your vehicle suddenly stops on a highway-rail crossing, probably due to
mechanical fault or for any other reason, you should let everybody move
out of the vehicle far away from the rail track, then you can call the
emergency number you see near the crossing or you call the law
enforcement. It is because the train cannot avoid any object on its track.
3. Do not use the rail track as a footpath with impunity; it is risky, it may cause
you your life, the train movement on its track is unpredictable.
4. Do not dare the speed of a moving train it may be faster than the way it
5. Do not cross immediately after a train; wait with patience to see if another
train is not moving in another direction.
6. Do not ignore the safety warning.
7. Do not jump out of a moving train
8. Always have it in mind that the train can move at anytime on its track.

9. Do not stop your vehicle on the track; before you cross make sure there is
enough space between your vehicle and the end of the track.
10. It does no harm to be safety conscious.

Rail Transportation and the 7 Safety Tips you need to know.

Rail transport is the one of the overland transport in the world that uses rail track built on ground for its operations. Since, it’s one of the land based transportation, hence, it becomes paramount importance for all road users to be conscious and cautious when approaching any rail track.

In view of this, here are the simple safety tips you need to know on rail transportation:


  • Train has no specific time:


Many road users such as motorists, cyclists etc. aren’t always conscious of the fact that freight trains don’t have schedule time and that it can be on operation anytime, anyplace and anywhere. Therefore, it’s high risk for any road user to approach highway-rail crossing anyhow without being safety conscious and cautious.


  • Train cannot stopped immediately:


Although, a train has an emergency brake system, yet it can’t bring the train to an instant halt. In other words, the train has no kind of brake we have in motor vehicles that can bring a motor vehicle into an instant stoppage. So, don’t cross the rail track at will when the rail is fast approaching; it may be closer to you than how it really appears and more importantly, it does not have the capacity to stop for you like a car.


  • Train cannot diverge:


It’s very difficult, if not impossible, for train operators to avoid or diverge for any object, vehicle or person on its track. Trains are designed to follow their track to a desired location or destination. It operates like one way traffic, so to say. No flexibility, therefore, like I noted earlier, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for train operators to avoid an unwanted collision on its tracks. Hence, be careful when approaching a highway-rail crossing.


  • Don’t misjudge the train by ignoring the warnings at the level crossing:


Some level crossings are designed with safety warnings for all road users who intend to make use of the level crossing, but it’s worthy to note that some motorists and cyclists take such safety warnings for granted by misjudging the speed of a train. This may explain why some collision between a vehicle and a train occur occasionally, at the level crossing.


  • Don’t misjudging the speed of a train:


Often times, most road users erroneously assume that a locomotive train travels at a slow speed; hence, you see many of them daring the speed of a train approaching level crossing even though they hear the sound of the train from afar. This poor safety attitude may also lead to a collision at the level crossing.

Don’t use the rail tracks as your pedestrian facility:

It baffles me whenever I see pedestrians who deliberately decide to use the rail track as their foot path to their desired destinations. In fact, you see some of them trekking a reasonable distance on a rail track, and funny enough, they mistakenly believe that they could use the rail track as their footpath with impunity. This is a dangerous behavior, because the train can come in any direction and the pedestrians may be caught in an area that may be too difficult for them to avoid or escape the oncoming train.

Be watchful at a level crossing:

Finally, always be watchful for other trains when you are at a level crossing with more than one rail track. In addition, don’t cross the track immediately after a train; please wait to see if other train is not moving on the other rail tracks.

It pays to be safety conscious whenever you are at the level crossing.

Railway Transport system: A notable solution to unemployment in Nigeria: by Peter Owinje.

     A reason why railway was established in Nigeria

Rail transport is the movement of people and goods by using a wheeled transport vehicle, which is made to move on a railway track. In Nigeria during colonial era when railway transport was first established, the primary aim of its establishment was to evacuate agric produce in Nigeria. Since, railway transport has the capacity to carry goods in large quantity; its establishment was fully considered by then.

However, nowadays I see more reasons why railway transport system must be established in most countries especially in Nigeria where there are huge number of unemployed youths. One of the reasons among others is that railway transport system can create direct and indirect jobs for thousands of people. I hope if unemployment problem can be solved or reduced to barest minimum it will give a better life to many Nigerians and it will help the nation’s economy.

  Meaning of unemployment

Unemployment is a common problem in the world today. It is a major social problem that is affecting many youths in different parts of the world most especially in Africa. Unemployment happens when a man who is ready and able to work is searching for an employment over a period of time and he’s unable to find or get employment. Better still, it is when someone of working age is seriously looking for a paid work for weeks or months or years. However, the national unemployment rate in many countries is determined by the percentage of unemployed people in the total labour force.

Unemployment and its consequences

When a man is unemployed his family suffers for lack of money and he will not be able to contribute meaningfully to the economy of a nation at large, when it comes to service and production of goods. More so, unemployed people lack purchasing power and this may also lead to unemployment for other people, when goods and services are not properly or well patronized by fairly large number of people due to unemployment, the producers and the providers of such goods and services may fold up. Furthermore, militancy and other crimes in Nigeria have been linked to high rate of unemployed youths in the country. Hence, the saying, an idle hand is the devil’s work shop. Therefore, high rate of unemployment is a great problem and high risk in any given country that must be addressed.

Financial distress is one of the direct consequences of unemployment, when getting a new job takes a longer time or period job searching becomes more difficult for the job seekers and it may lead to financial worries and anger, these may also explain why some of unemployed youths are involved in undesirable crime in the society

When you consider a lot of challenges job seekers have to face in Nigeria, most especially when they are being deceived and defrauded by employment agencies, then I hope you will agree with me that the high rate of unemployed youths in Nigeria needs more urgent attention better than before.

I personally discovered that transport generally as it were is a great source of employment in any given nation. However, I will like to talk on just mode of transport that can provide thousands of direct jobs to unemployed youths. This mode of transport is railway transport system. It is a special mode of transport that must not be undermined because it has the capacity to provide hundred thousand of jobs if properly maintained. However, at this point, it is important to look at some railway transport companies and their staff strength by this you will agree that railway transport is capable to provide thousands of jobs to thousands of people.

Early days of Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC)

“According to Jetson Nwakwo, managing director of the NRC said the company had employed 45,000 people between 1954 and 1975, current employment is only 6,516.” If a single organization as at 1975, provided direct jobs for 45,000 people and the figure for indirect jobs were not inclusive or mentioned, you can now imagine the number of direct and indirect jobs such a single company is likely to provide by now, if it’s properly maintained.

Kenya Government plans to tackle unemployment.

Kenya Government is planning very hard to reduce the number of unemployed citizen in their country through a viable railway transport system.

“The new proposed railway deal in Kenya is expected to create more than 30,000 new direct jobs for Kenyans, while it also has the potential to provide 13,000 indirect jobs through the local companies that are expected to supply local materials and the services needed for the venture.” Source: Daily Nation.

 Indian Railway the 7th largest employer in the world

It is interesting to know that in whole world, railway transport system is the7th largest employer of labour. The name of the railway company is India Railway. It has 1.334 million employees in 2014. Source: Wikipedia. When a single company employed over one million people, you can also imagine indirect jobs such company will also provide for people in its environment.

Pakistan Railways: The Pakistan Railways also provides employment to large number of her citizens, the company employed 82,424 people between year 2010 and 2011. Source: Wikipedia.

Russian Railways: The Russian Railways was established in 18th of September, 2003. However, as at 31st of December, 2011, the company employed 942, 808 people. Source: Wikipedia.

 Other Railway Transport Companies and their Staff Strength

The following companies are rail-manufacturing companies in the world and they also run a railway transport system, hence, it is important to look at the number of direct jobs they provided in each of the company for better understanding.

Bombardier: It is a Canadian company that has 33,800 rail-related employees as at early year of 2010. You can also imagine what the figure will be by now. Railway transport is a major source of employment.

Alstom: This is a company that has its headquarters in France, and in its transport division, it has 27,000 employees.

Siemens: This is a German company that has 19,000 employees in its transport division.

China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock (CSR): Is a China base company it has about 112,000 employees.

China Northern Locomotive and Rolling Stock: It is also one of the rail manufacturing companies that have more than 100,000 employees.

Source credited to: Global Competitiveness in the Rail and Transit Industry by: Michael Renner and Gary Gardner.

Without a nagging doubt, the existence of mode rail infrastructure in above given countries is a significant source of employments, that makes important contribution to improve quality of life of thousands of people, by providing jobs in thousands to unemployed youths and boosting the economy. Therefore, my earlier assertion that railway transport system is a notable solution to unemployment is not an over statement but, a stark truth.



Rail Accidents in 2016

All transport accidents are unwanted accidents but, the most unwanted accident in overland transport is rail accident. Why? It is because one rail accident can kill or injure a fairly large number of people more than other land transport. For instance, on 20th of March, 2015, an India train knows as Dehradun-Varanasi Janta Express derails and killed 15 people while 150 people are injured in a single accident. However, rail accidents that occurred in 2016 are here below:


4 January in US. A Tri-Rail passenger train collided with a garbage truck which had broken down on a grade crossing at Lake Worth station, Florida and was derailed. 22 people were injured.

8 January in Thailand- A passenger train collided with a Cattle truck near Phetchaburi Railway Station, Phetchaburi province and was derailed. 3 people are killed, 34 people were injured.


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