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Many (most in the US?) railways don't even own their own tracks....

No, that is not true. There are some instances in which railroads operate over tracks owned by other railroads or by commuter rail authorities, or where two railroads have agreed to joint operation of parallel routes using one railroad's line northbound or eastbound and the other railroad's line southbound or westbound, but they are the exception rather than the norm. Also, where commuter rail authorities have acquired trackage, it is usually either (1) yard and terminal areas used exclusively for servicing and storing the commuter rail's locomotives and rolling stock and (2) lines that were not receiving adequate maintenance from the railroads that previously owned them. The lines owned by commuter rail authorities are generally in good shape.

... and tracks are a major cause of rail accidents.

Yes, that was precisely the point of my earlier post.

If Railroad A maintains its tracks well and has no accidents at all, but Railroad B neglects track maintenance and consequently has dozens of accidents, the overall statistics will reflect dozens of accidents. If, OTOH, one were to do a three-way comparison of safety between Railroad A, Railroad B, and the pipeline, Railroad A might win.

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