A closer look at recent history of LIRR train incidents

AB: According to the most recent data available, the LIRR reported 517 incidents and eight deaths in 2021.

Rachel Yonkunas

Aug 3, 2023, 10:59 PM

Updated 316 days ago

Share:

The LIRR train derailment Thursday morning in Queens is one of hundreds of incidents that have happened on the rails over the last five years. Team 12 Investigates obtained data from the U.S. Department of Transportation to get a closer look LIRR accident data.
Overall, the number of incidents involving LIRR trains is down since 2017. According to the most recent data available, the LIRR reported 517 incidents and eight deaths in 2021.
Systemwide, there were 17 train accidents on the rails and eight accidents at highway-rail grade crossings. The LIRR did not report any passenger injuries from train accidents or crossing incidents in 2021. However, the number of employees hurt on duty has gone up over the last four years.
More than half of all 2021 LIRR incidents happened on Long Island. There were 6 train accidents in Nassau and Suffolk counties and 8 incidents at railroad crossings. Seven of the eight fatalities also happened on the Island.
LIRR incidents in Queens County, where Thursday’s derailment happened, have increased over the last four years. There were 175 incidents reported in 2021, compared to 157 in 2019.
Across New York, there have been 101 train accidents since 2018, including 66 derailments. Most of the train accidents statewide were caused by human error, followed by equipment failures and track issues. Derailments have cost railroads nearly $8.2 million over the past five years.


More from News 12