Train Accidents in Oklahoma
Trains are one of the most convenient forms of modern transportation, however, they are also one of the most dangerous. According to the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, in 2011, there were over a thousand accidents from January to December. This led to 6 fatalities and over 200 nonfatal conditions. This is nothing to take lightly, especially when one considers that trains travel over 700 million miles annually and over 5% of accidents involve passenger trains.
So what are the most common causes of train accidents? According to the FRA, the causes and types of
train accidents can be split into several different categories, including the structure of the track and roadbed, signal and communication, human-related factors of operation, as well as mechanical and electrical failures.
Some common causes of train accidents include:
- Broken or bent axle;
- Electrical fire;
- On-board computer failure;
- Defective train components;
- Extreme environmental conditions;
- Vandalism of track;
- Improper use of brakes; and
- Broken rail or defective spike
About Train-on-Train Accidents
One of the least common types of train accidents is that of a train-on-train crash. One train by itself can be a monstrous vehicle, but the momentum and damage that occurs when two trains collide is nothing short of catastrophic. Due to the damage that can occur from these forms of accidents, the railway industry has taken drastic measures to ensure that these are severely limited through train accident prevention.
This, however, is not always enough to prevent disaster. On June 24, 2012, a catastrophic incident occurred when two Union Pacific trains collided in the state of Oklahoma. It was reported that the cause could be attributed to one of the trains failing to utilize the side track and causing both trains to collide on the main line. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, there was "no survivable space" in the train.
Railways Operating in Oklahoma
There are several different freight carriers that operate throughout the state of Oklahoma, including the Arkansas-Oklahoma Railroad (AOK), the Arkansas Southern Railroad (ASR) and the AT&L Railroad (ATLT). Other common railroads operating in Oklahoma include:
- Blackwell Northern Gateway Railroad (BNG)
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
- Cimarron Valley Railroad (CVR)
- Farmrail Corporation (FMRC)
- Grainbelt Corporation (GNBC)
- Hollis and Eastern Railroad (HE)
- Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS)
- Kiamichi Railroad (KRR)
- Northwestern Oklahoma Railroad (NOKL)
- Sand Springs Railway (SS)
- South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad (SKOL)
- Southwestern Railroad (SW)
- Stillwater Central Railroad (SLWC)
- Tulsa–Sapulpa Union Railway (TSU)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
- Wichita, Tillman and Jackson Railway (WTJR)
Railroad Company Spotlight: Union Pacific
Starting operations in 1962 under the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, Union Pacific Railroad (UP) is one of the largest and oldest freight carriers throughout the United States. Currently, it employees over 44,000 and has over 8,000 trains that run on over 30,000 miles of track. In fact, UP is a present force in almost half of the states throughout the country. Besides the catastrophic accident that occurred in 2012, however, the company has not been without some serious incidents throughout the years.
For example, in Texas in 2004, one train operated by UP hit a BNSF train – which resulted in a punctured car and the release of liquefied chlorine. This caused three fatalities and over forty people to receive medical treatment in a local hospital. Earlier, in 1994, the derailment of a UP train killed one man. This called for a complete rerouting the train to go around the city – something called for again in 2005.
Get the involvement of Arnold & Itkin!
If you or a loved one were injured in a train accident, it is likely that you are confused and unsure of where to turn. Where do you receive help? How do you fight large railway companies? At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we are here to help. We have successfully recovered billions of dollars on behalf of our clients and will be able to fight for you. If you would like to learn more about our firm and the different ways in which we can help you file a claim, we encourage you to click through our website. Read our individual
attorney bios to learn more about the individuals who compose our legal team, read through
our victories to learn about our previous successes, watch
our videos to see us discuss pertinent topics or even read our
blog. Then, when you're ready, give us a call or take advantage of our
free case evaluation.