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Railroad Safety

Railroad Safety Dan Feltes Introduction Importance of Rail Safety: First Fundamental Cannon of the ASCE: Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and shall strive to comply with the principles of sustainable [1]

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Railroad Safety

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  1. Railroad Safety Dan Feltes

  2. Introduction • Importance of Rail Safety: • First Fundamental Cannon of the ASCE: • Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public and shall strive to comply with the principles of sustainable [1] • The “Highest Priority of the Federal Railroad Administration is the Safety of the US railroad system” [2] • Safest form of major Land Transportation • Over a period of time, Railroad travel remains the safest mode…[3] • Safety is Important for the Potentially high risk • …but the hazard potential if train and railroad maintenance operations must be respected [3] • High quantities of Hazardous wastes traveling at High speed offer enormous opportunity for catastrophe…Yet, rail is orders of magnitude more safe than highway-truck transportation. • Rail Versus Truck: A Perspective On Safetyhttp://www.uprr.com/uprr/she/cts/rvtruck.shtml

  3. From the Text... • Training • Link Between Safety and Freight Claims • Two elements are often placed in one organization because technology training and discipline to minimize personal injury and equipment also contribute toward reducing damaged shipments [3] • Safety and Accident Reporting • Required by law since 1910 • Change in reporting of accidents in 1979 • Casualties- Defined as Any accident requiring medical attention rater than those involving lost work days. [3] • Train Accident > $6,200 (1994)> Train Incident • Train Accidents added up to $180 million dollars of damage in 1994 • 43% lower than 15 years prior • Train Incidents account for 90% of all railroad operations fatalities

  4. Just the Facts and Stats • More people die in highway-rail crashes each year than incommercial airline crashes in an average year. [4] • In the US, approximately every 115 minutes (or 2 hours) a train collides with a person or a vehicle. [4] • A motorist is 40 times more likely to die in a collision with a train than in a collision with another motor vehicle [4] • However… Rail passengers are extremely safe; in fact, since 1980 fewer people have died in rail passenger accidents than die in two days on the nation's highways [5]

  5. Breakdown of Accidents • Rail Crossing Account for more than 50% of all railroad Fatalities • And 50% of Rail Crossing Fatalities were at active crossing systems (systems with a minimum of cross bars and lights) • By far the biggest safety issues faced by railroads involve highway-rail grade crossings and trespassers • During 1996, more than 92 percent of all rail-related fatalities involved either grade crossings or trespassers --958 out of 1,039 • These sobering statistics lead to the development of educational programs like Operation Lifesaver [5]

  6. Railroad Crossings “A tin can is to a car... as a car is to a train”- unknown • Examples of Railroad Crossings: • Operation Lifesaver • http://www.oli.org/ets.html#signs • Crossing Crash Statistics For 1998 • Ames • Iowa Crossing Incidents - safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/Default.asp • Public Crossing 90 Percent of National Ave 2.91% • Private Crossing 14 Percent of National Ave 3.31% • National Crossing Incidents - safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/Default.asp • Public Crossing 3,086 • Private Crossing 422

  7. Internal Railroad Issues • Employee Accidents • Trespassing Accidents

  8. Railroad Safety Organizations • Federal Railroad Association (FRA)- www.fra.dot.gov/o/safety/index.htm • The FRA, has the responsibility for ensuring railroad safety throughout the nation : To monitor railroad compliance with federally mandated safety standards, FRA employs 400 inspectors operating out of 47 offices throughout the country • Operation Lifesaver -www.oli.org/oli/index.html • An answer to FRA need for better public railroad safety awarness, Operation Lifesaver is:a nationwide, non-profit public information program dedicated to eliminating collisions, injuries and fatalities at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad rights-of-way. • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) www.ntsb.gov/Railroad/railroad.htm • A federal organization responsible for investigating significant transportation accidents • OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) • Government agency created to insure a safe workplace for all railroad employees

  9. R&R Company Safety Departments • Union Pacific Railroad- www.uprr.com/uprr/she/ol.shtml • CSX- www.csx.com/aboutus/financial/safety/ • Canada National Railway (CN)- www.cn.ca/cnwebsite/cnwebsite.nsf/public/en_SESafety • Safest Company • Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad- www.bnsf.com/about_bnsf/

  10. Designing For Safety

  11. Local Safety Issues • Recent Accident in NW Iowa • NEAR ALTON, Iowa, Nov. 18th. Two trains were on the same stretch of track when they collided around 11:15 Wednesday [11/17/99] night. • http://msnbc.com/local/KTIV/58277.asp • Duff Crossing Improvements • Traffic Cameras • Crossing Surface Repairs • New Automated Horn Warning System • Provides for safer crossing and lowers noise pollution • www.dot.state.ia.us/trainhorn.htm • Old Train Wreck

  12. InfamousAccidents • Worst Accident on Record • Modane, France 12/17/1917 • Brakes fail on an overloaded train returning from the Italian front during WWI • Approximately 800 French troops perish • http://danger-ahead.railfan.net/accidents/modane/home.html • Potentially Worst Accident (No Records) • Samastipur, India 6/6/1981 • Seriously overcrowded train • Few Facts no official inquiry… • Some estimates include 3000 fatalities • http://danger-ahead.railfan.net/accidents/samastipur/home.html • Worst Domestic Accident • Nashville, TN 7/18/1918 • 101 Casualties []

  13. Future of Rail Safety • Research and Development Centers • New Safety Technology

  14. References 1 American Society of Civil Engineers website at: http://www.asce.org/aboutasce/codeofethics.html 2 Ditmeyer, Steven. Railroad Safety Research. TR News. July-August 1999, Number 203 3 Armstrong, John A. The Railroad What it is, What it Does. 4th Ed. Simmons-Boardman Books. p. 269-273. 1998. 4 Operation Lifesavers website at: http://www.oli.org/hrfactsterms.html 5 North American Freight Railroad Online at: http://www.aar.org/comm/statfact.nsf/5406ac733125e6c7852564d000737b60/92643425e41f23d5852564f0006ae6df?OpenDocument 6 Federal Railroad Administration Website at safetydata.fra.dot.gov/OfficeofSafety/Default.asp 7

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