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Risk and train control : a framework for analysis
  • Published Date:
    2001-01-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-9.23 MB]


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Risk and train control : a framework for analysis
Details:
  • Resource Type:
  • Geographical Coverage:
  • NTL Classification:
    AGR-PASSENGERS-PASSENGERS ; AGR-INFRASTRUCTURE-Railroads ; AGR-SAFETY AND SECURITY-SAFETY AND SECURITY ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-RAIL TRANSPORTATIONNTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Safety ; NTL-RAIL TRANSPORTATION-Rail Planning and Policy ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-SAFETY AND SECURITY ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Rail Safety ;
  • Format:
  • Abstract:
    This report develops and demonstrates a framework for examining the effects of various train control strategies on some of the major risks of railroad operations. Analysis of hypothetical 1200-mile corridor identified the main factors that increase risks. Passenger traffic is the most important factor, because adding passenger trains creates the possibility of catastrophic accidents with dozens of fatalities. Increasing the number of trains per day leads to more than proportional increases in the risks of collisions. Single track operations are much more susceptible to collisions, while higher train speeds increase both the likelihood and consequences of accidents if there is a signal overrun or a failure to obey a slow order. Positive train cntrol systems can reduce most, but not all of the collisions and over speed derailments, as improper train handling or equipment failure could still lead to accidents. Establishing a digital communications link to the train should also allow the possibility for improved grade crossing protection. For the hypothetical corridor, the potential grade crossing benefits were on the same order of magnitude as the predicted benefits from PTC systems. If new technologies are developed to detect broken rails, the digital communications link could also be used to implement braking immediately, thereby preventing some additional derailments. The risk-based approach demonstrated herein may provide a more complete assessment of rail risks than a methodology that estimates safety benefits based upon documentation of accidents that might have been prevented if more advanced train control techniques had been in place. Risks include the possibility of catastrophic accidents, whether or not such accident have recently occurred. A casual-based methodology also allows greater flexibility in sensitivity analysis and in assessment of trends in traffic volume, traffic mix, and other factors.

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