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Development of a Short Line Railroad Safety Institute: Phase I – Job Analysis
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  • Abstract:
    A proposed Short Line Safety Institute is being developed, implemented and evaluated as a result of the support of the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) Office of Research and Development (R&D) and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA). Three key functions will be performed by the Institute, as follows: (1) safety culture assessment, (2) safety compliance assessment, and (3) manager education. Building a stronger and sustainable safety culture in the short line industry through non-punitive and voluntary partnerships with individual member railroad companies is the proposed Institute's mission. The Institute is being established by ASLRRA in order to enhance and improve safety performance on short line railroads across North America. Still under development are the final organizational structure and physical logistics of the Institute. The Institute will assess short line railroads’ operations and safety programs in order to accomplish its goals. Teams, comprised of experts, will conduct these assessments. Short line railroad safety best practices will be identified by the Institute, and the following will be developed: Guidance and tools for railroads to monitor the state of their safety culture; Training materials, including leadership training to assist managers with safety compliance and safety culture change; and Recommendations and resources for short line railroad members of ASLRRA to enhance safety culture. A pilot project will be the starting point for development of the Institute. ASLRRA will work with federal railroad administration (FRA), the Volpe Center, and the University of Connecticut as part of this pilot phase in order to create tools to assess the current level of regulatory compliance and safety culture levels on short line railroads that transport crude oil. Written validated assessments, structured interviews, focus groups, and observation may be included as safety culture tools. The Institute’s initial focus, after which it will address Tech Report short line railroad safety issues, will be the safety of crude oil transportation by rail.

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