Every year, the rail industry spends billions of dollars to improve the national infrastructure. For example, American freight railroads spent $28 billion in 2014, and a projected $29 billion in 2015 on infrastructure and equipment. Although new projects draw the most attention, the majority of spend is on routine maintenance repair operations to ensure continuous safety and efficiency of the railroad system. There is a definite correlation between the increase in rail network investments and enhanced safety performance.
After a recent US passenger train accident last month, the Federal Railroad Administration issued a safety advisory for passenger railroads. The railroads are recommended to use an existing technology called Automatic Train Control (ATC) to alert trains appearing to be travelling at an excessive speed, in hopes they reduce their speed as they approach a curve or bridge. (On May 12, 2015, an Amtrak passenger train carrying 243 passengers and crew members derailed killing eight and injuring more than 200. The train was travelling well above the allowable speed limit for that area).