The Safest Public Transportation in the World

Why, despite a deadly crash two years ago, China’s rail system is still one of the safest in the world

Even though a rail line killed 40 and injured 192 in 2011 after a rainstorm disabled the train’s signaling equipment, the New York Times reports that China still has one of the safest rail systems in the world.

According to the article, statistics have shown that despite the crash two years ago, the country still has a very safe track record. Since 2009, the system has carried 1.8 billion passengers and has not had any reported crashes except the one in 2011. According to a mathematician from MIT, despite the 40 deaths, the fact that the system hasn’t had a death since then is a testament to its exceptional safety overall.

When compared with China’s driving and aviation safety, the rail is particularly safe. China’s cars are “6 to 20 times as deadly per million registered vehicles as in the United States,” according to the New York Times article. And its rate of death per flight is almost double what it is in the US.  

How long its good safety record will last is a concern, as the rail system operates around 2,000 train trips a day. Though it has been safe overall, the rail system was constructed quite fast, and some worry that they didn’t use expensive enough chemical hardening agents for the concrete viaducts, which could lead to early wear down on the trains.

The 2011 accident occurred when a storm disabled the train’s signaling equipment so that when a train stopped on a viaduct, the one behind it didn’t, leading to the crash.

For more information, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/business/global/despite-a-deadly-crash-rail-system-has-good-safety-record.html

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