Category : Safety and Risk

Quantitative causal analysis of mainline passenger train accidents in the United States

Lin, C-Y., M.R. Saat and C.P.L. Barkan. 2019. Quantitative causal analysis of mainline passenger train accidents in the United States. Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit. doi:10.1177/0954409719876128.

The need for shared freight and passenger rail corridors in the United States is increasing due to the growing demand for regional and intercity passenger transport. Several researches have been conducted on reducing the risk of freight train accidents, but little research has been done on the risk of passenger train accidents. The accident rates…

Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Incident Consequence Analysis

Highway rail grade crossing safety has improved considerably in the past two decades. Among the reasons is investment in more effective warning systems. Such upgrades are costly and resources are limited so decisions on which crossings should receive these investments should be made so that they will have the greatest impact on improving safety. A…

Comparison of Loaded and Empty Unit Train Derailment Characteristics

Freight train derailment rate has declined substantially over the past decade. Although various aspects of this improvement in train safety have been studied, there has been only limited research examining the effect of train loading condition on derailment occurrence, causes and severity. Unit trains operate loaded in one direction and return empty, and their operation…

Quantitative Prediction of the Risk of Heavy Haul Freight Train Derailments due to Collisions at Level Crossings

The current methodology for prioritizing level crossing (LC) warning system upgrades and elimination in the United States (U.S.) focuses on the likelihood of collisions between highway and rail vehicles as well as highway user fatalities. However, these metrics do not encompass all LC risks. In particular, they do not consider the risk of derailment that…

An Integrated Model for the Evaluation and Planning of Railroad Track Maintenance

Each year the North American Class 1 railroads spend billions of dollars on track maintenance. Even a small percentage reduction in maintenance costs, could save the railroads millions of dollars. Of course this is only feasible if cost reductions can be accomplished without decreasing the safety, utility, and robustness of the railroad track infrastructure. One…

Safety Effectiveness of Integrated Accident Prevention Strategies

There are potential interactions among approaches to reduce or prevent certain accident causes. Given the overlapped safety benefits of various measures for accident prevention, it is necessary to identify their interactions and quantify the safety effectiveness of combined accident prevention strategies. This study focuses on strategies to prevent broken rails and broken wheels, respectively. Improved…

Railroad accident rates for use in rail transportation risk analysis

Anderson, R.T. and C.P.L. Barkan. 2004. Railroad accident rates for use in rail transportation risk analysis. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 1863: 88-98.

Annual safety statistics published by FRA provide train accident counts for various groupings, such as railroad, accident type, cause, track type and class, train length, and speed. However, hazardous materials transportation risk analysis often requires more detailed accident rate statistics for specific combinations of these groupings. The statistics that are presented enable more precise determination…

Exposure of soil and groundwater to spills of hazardous materials transported by rail: A geographic information system analysis

Anand, P. and C.P.L. Barkan. 2006. Exposure of soil and groundwater to spills of hazardous materials transported by rail: A geographic information system analysis. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 1943: 12-19.

The environmental impact of a hazardous material spill is a complex function of the material’s physical and chemical characteristics and the local environmental conditions in which it is spilled. This study develops a geographical probability distribution for two important environmental parameters affecting this impact: soil type and groundwater depth. The paper assesses the probability of…

Cost effectiveness of railroad fuel spill prevention using a new locomotive refueling system

Barkan, C.P.L. 2004. Cost effectiveness of railroad fuel spill prevention using a new locomotive refueling system. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment. 9 (4): 251-262.

Fuel spillage during locomotive refueling is expensive, as is maintaining spill collection and containment systems, and waste treatment costs. The Association of American Railroads has developed the first standard for a locomotive refueling system for North American railroads. The locomotive fueling interface standard is an open, non-proprietary standard designed to prevent fuel spillage. Prototype equipment…

Benefit-cost evaluation of using different specification tank cars to reduce the risk of transporting environmentally sensitive chemicals

Barkan, C.P.L., T.S. Glickman and A.E. Harvey. 1991. Benefit-cost evaluation of using different specification tank cars to reduce the risk of transporting environmentally sensitive chemicals. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 1313: 33-43.

In response to public concerns about the environment, regulatory requirements for cleaning up spills of certain chemicals have become more stringent and cleanup costs have increased dramatically. Hence, due consideration must be given to environmental sensitivity as an element of transportation risk. Among the environmentally sensitive chemicals of most concern to the railroad industry are…

Effect of train speed on risk analysis of transporting hazardous materials by rail

Kawprasert, A. and C.P.L. Barkan. 2010. Effect of train speed on risk analysis of transporting hazardous materials by rail. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 2159: 59-68.

This paper considers the effect of train speed on railroad hazardous materials transportation risk. A statistical method was developed to estimate the speed-dependent conditional probability of release (CPR) of hazardous material from tank cars involved in accidents. The objective was to assess how accounting for speed affects the results of risk analysis. A case study…

Communication and interpretation of results of route risk analyses of hazardous materials transportation by railroad

Kawprasert, A. and C.P.L. Barkan. 2009. Communication and interpretation of results of route risk analyses of hazardous materials transportation by railroad. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 2097: 125-135.

Route risk analysis of hazardous materials transportation by railroad is receiving considerable new attention from industry and government. Such analyses are necessary for effective public policy and development of rational risk management strategies. However, route risk analysis is complex and generates results that can be difficult to properly interpret. Risk analyses are intended to provide…

Fault tree analysis of adjacent track accidents on shared-use rail corridors

Lin, C-Y., M.R. Saat and C.P.L. Barkan. 2016. Fault tree analysis of adjacent track accidents on shared-use rail corridors. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. 2546: 129-136. doi:10.3141/2546-16.

Adjacent-track accidents (ATAs) have been identified as an important hazard on shared-use rail corridors. In these train accidents derailed railroad equipment intrudes on (fouls) an adjacent track, disrupts operations, and potentially causes a collision with trains operating on the fouled tracks. Derailments without intrusion may cause equipment and infrastructure damage, passenger casualties, and disturbances to…