On Tuesday, the Federal Railroad Administration told the Public Service Commission that Montana has experienced a 55 percent decline in the number of railroad related accidents from 2008 to today. PSC Communications Director Chris Puyear says Montana’s numbers have improved more than several states in the region.

“This number really mirrors an overall trend in the region,” said Puyear. “We have seen a region wide decline in the number of railroad related accidents and incidents. Montana’s numbers have definitely improved more dramatically than the rest of the region. We are second only to Alaska and Wyoming in that regard out of the eight states in the region.”

According to Puyear, Montana also saw a reduction in terms of employee on-duty injuries.

“That number dropped 63% percent from 100 injuries in 2008 to 37 injuries in 2017,” Puyear said. “2017 was not the lowest year, but we have seen a steady decline from 2008 to today.”

PSC Railroad Inspector Dave Jackson attributes Montana’s strong performance to an improvement in rail safety education, as well as stronger relationships between regulators and stakeholders.