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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 9 (February 25, 1927)

Safety Of Railway Travel

Safety Of Railway Travel.

From the returns of railway accidents just issued, it appears that only one passenger was killed in a train accident in Great Britain in 1925, Since the opening of the present century there have been two years—1901 and 1908—without a single fatality to passengers in accidents to trains, and in 1909, as in 1925, only one fatal accident occurred; whilst in each of the years 1916, 1919, and 1923 there were only three. When it is considered that over 1,700,000,000 passenger journeys by train are made every year on the railways of Great Britain, involving the running of 262,000,000 passenger train miles, it will be seen that a passenger's risk of death on the railway is so infinitesimal as to be negligible—a one in seventeen hundred millionth chance. Compared with the ever-present peril of the London streets, in which 840 persons were killed in 1925, or the heavy death-roll of 3,631 for a year on the roads of Great Britain, a journey by train to hundreds of millions of people is practically without risk. To the elaborate precautions taken to ensure the safety of the traveller by rail, may be attributed the fortunate position occupied by Great Britain. It is stated in the annual report of their Chief Inspecting Officer, that as the chances of passengers falling out of trains in motion were so small (about one in every twenty-eight million journeys) there was no justification to warrant pressure on Railway Companies to adopt a device for controlling the unlocking of carriage doors.