- There are unique safety risk factors related to AAF running on FEC tracks. Gavalla notes that the FEC has more at grade crossings per mile than any other major railway in the country, and because the rail line traverses densely populated areas, the FEC has a grade crossing accident rate that is more than double the national average.
- The FEC rail line is among the deadliest in the nation. Gavalla’s findings show the current FEC rail line is among the deadliest in the U.S., with one of the highest crossing accident fatality rates in the country.
- The FEC grade crossing accident rate is more than double the national average, with a fatality rate that is 4.0 times the national rate. Equally disturbing, the fatality rate for pedestrians along the railroad right-of-way is seven and one-half times worse than the national average. These numbers are based on data from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
- The risk of deadly accidents will increase greatly if AAF becomes operational. No other passenger rail system in the U.S. combines fast-moving passenger trains (110 mph) and freight trains (70 mph) on the same rail line, running through densely populated urban and coastal recreation areas with such a high concentration of tourists and seasonal visitors. The number of trains and the speed of the trains are major factors in railroad crossing and pedestrian accidents. Train speeds will nearly triple (from an average of 32 mph to 110 mph) and the number of trains travelling through the Treasure Coast (both passenger and freight) is projected to quintuple should AAF become operational through the Treasure Coast.
- There is an increased risk of catastrophic accidents and deadly derailments on crowded passenger and freight train rail lines due to “secondary” collisions. Because AAF proposes to run both passenger and freight on FEC tracks, a passenger train could derail at high speeds and collide with a freight train or with another passenger train standing or moving on an adjacent track in what is known as a “secondary collision.”
Martin County will continue its work to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the public as it relates to the All Aboard Florida project. For more resources and information on the many local and regional issues of concern relating to the proposed AAF passenger rail project, visit http://www.martin.fl.us . In addition, please visit the county’s social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, for updates.
View the full report here: https://www.martin.fl.us/sites/default/files/meta_page_files/draft_aaf_unique_safety_cost_issues-rv1.pdf