Majority of NC train fatalities are track trespassers - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

WNCN Investigates

Majority of NC train fatalities are track trespassers

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Police respond to an accident involving a passenger train and a car in Garner. Police respond to an accident involving a passenger train and a car in Garner.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Sunday's Metro-North train accident in New York has many wondering how safe the rails are in North Carolina.

WNCN Investigates analyzed data from the Federal Railroad Administration to determine how many accidents happen in the state and around the country.

For both passenger and non-passenger trains in the first half of 2013 alone, there were 1,145 train accidents nationwide, 833 of which were derailments. In North Carolina, there were 12 train accidents, eight of which were derailments.

To put this in further perspective, the number of fatalities associated with train derailments and accidents is very low.

Twenty people have died so far this year in North Carolina due to trains. Almost all of them were the result of being hit by a train while trespassing near tracks.

"I [saw] more accidents coming up here this morning [to the train station]," said one man waiting at Raleigh's Amtrak station. "I think train travel is safe."

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Jonathan Carlson

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