As a matter of public policy, trains are considered Common Carriers. Since they are responsible for the public transport of large numbers of people, Common Carriers are held to the highest standard of care for their passengers’ safety. This means that they are responsible for personal injuries resulting from even the slightest degree of negligence. In addition, responsibility may rest not only on the Common Carrier but also on the engineer who was operating the train.
The high degree of care begins when passengers are boarding and ends when they are safely off. For example, the train must stop long enough to allow passengers to get in and out safely. Trains must also provide help in boarding and leaving the train. They should use the highest degree of care in selecting, maintaining and operating the train, and when passengers are on board, the aisles should be kept clear, and baggage should be carefully secured in racks.