Train-School Bus Crashes

There have been at least 166 train-school bus collisions known to have occured between 1902 and 2000, the last in Conasauga, Tenn., when a freight train traveling at 51 mph struck the passenger side of a Murray County, Ga., School District bus that was crossing the railgrade. Another major crash occurred several years earlier in Fox River Grove, Ill.

Of these crashes documented during the 20th century, 35 resulted in fatalities to school bus passengers resulting in 192 deaths and at least 546 injuries (some reports only indicate "many injuries"). The first known train-school vehicle collision occurred in 1902 when a train rammed a horse-drawn stagecoach in school transportation service resulting in eight student fatalities. The collision occured in West Nyack, N.Y., not far from the scene of the Congers train-school bus collision 70 years later.

Investigations of collisions involving a vehicle in school transportation service and a trainthat resulted in a fatality or injury of either a student passenger, driver of the bus or train crew can be found by searching the major investigations section of the National Transportation Safety Board Web site. Both the Conasauga and Fox River Grove collisions led to recommendations for radio speakers that are installed behind the driver console as contributing factors of both incidents were that the driver could not hear the approaching trains.

Since 1972, Operation Lifesaver has provided training and other educational tools to school bus drivers, educators and parents to help keep students safe at railroad crossings, especially when traveling on school buses.

The Federal Railroad Administration has been keeping statistics on railroad crossing fatalities since 1981.

Last modified onFriday, 25 April 2014 05:42