A report from not-for-profit company Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has revealed the UK remains one of the safest railways in Europe despite increasing passenger numbers.
Figures released by the report show no passenger or workforce fatalities in train accidents were reported last year, for the eighth time in a row.
The overall decrease in the number of fatalities on the network in the previous year is against a backdrop of sustained increasing passenger usage, which amounted to 1.68 billion journeys.
The total number of fatalities, excluding trespass and suicide that occurred last year amounted to 13, compared with 18 reported in 2014. Out of all the fatalities, six were passengers, compared with three in 2014.
The report also highlighted the number of potentially higher-risk train accidents (PHRTAs) in 2015 was 26, compared with 32 in 2014.
PHRTAs are train accidents that have the greatest chance of resulting in a physical injury. They comprise statutorily reportable train collisions, buffer stop collisions, trains striking road vehicles, other derailments, and trains being struck by large falling objects.
RSSB system safety director George Bearfield said: "Even though we are pleased to see these results, we cannot afford to be complacent as the precursors to train accidents indicate that the potential for a major train accident remains.
"As an industry, we have to collaborate and work together to understand and manage potential risks, with the safety of all those who interact with the railway remaining at the forefront of our minds."
RSSB said the last onboard fatality in a train accident occurred in February 2007 when a passenger train derailed at Grayrigg.
Image: A rail station in the UK. Photo: courtesy of FinlayCox143.