Train Fatalities

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More than 500 people a year are being run over by trains.

The industry calls it "trespass fatality"-- people who are on railroad property illegally. That number has gone up, even while the number of deaths from accidents at crossings has gone down.

There were 355 fatalities at railroad crossings last year.

Railroad and safety officials put part of the blame on the growing popularity of ATV's and snowmobiles. And more homes and businesses have popped up along the nearly quarter (m) million miles of tracks in the US.

One other thing: fast-moving trains are a lot quieter than they used to be. There's less clickety-clack warning for people hiking or jogging along the tracks or fishing from a trestle.

Train engineers regularly report violations. The engineer of a 130-ton locomotive hauling passengers from Maine to Boston says he once found himself behind a snowmobiler barreling down the tracks.