New Map Shows Hazardous Train Derailments Pose an Urgent Threat to Communities

June 7, 2023

Bipartisan Rail Safety Legislation Awaits Full Senate Vote

This week, the National League of Cities (NLC) launched an interactive map showing the alarming number of train derailments across the country as the bipartisan Railway Safety Act awaits a vote before the U.S. Senate. The Act, led by Sen. Cantwell and supported by the NLC, aims to improve rail safety and prevent a disastrous train derailment like the disaster in East Palestine, Ohio.

“Communities nationwide are subjected to derailments every day, and it’s only a matter of time before the next disaster like East Palestine happens,” said Sen. Cantwell. “This new map by the National League of Cities shows exactly why it is time for the Senate to get on board and pass the bipartisan Railway Safety Act.”

According to the NLC, an average of three trains derail per day, with as many as half potentially carrying hazardous substances. The top 5 states with derailments over the last decade are Texas, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and Ohio. 


Click here to view the map

The interactive map displays railroad derailments between 2012 and 2023, based on data compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration. The map accounts for all railway networks in the U.S. and the congressional districts where derailments occurred. The map allows users to see an overview of derailments and dive deeper into details on specific incidents.

In May, Sen. Cantwell joined ‘rail town’ mayors and local officials from the NLC to call for the passage of the Railway Safety Act, legislation to prevent a disastrous train derailment like the one that devastated East Palestine from happening in their cities.

“The bipartisan Railway Safety Act is trying to prevent disasters like East Palestine from happening in any other town in America again,” said Sen. Cantwell at the press conference. “We took the lessons of East Palestine and turned them into legislation…It is only fair that we come together as a country and make common-sense rail safety laws that are important to keeping our community safe. These are not red towns or blue towns. They are towns in which the mayors have decided that it's time that we give America more rail safety.”