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4 complicated work area to control owing to the multiple done under the close, on-scene supervision of transportation tracks. Two systems in the study have track configura- or operations department supervisors or managers from the tions that appear to be three- or four-track mainlines but rail transit agency. actually are two running tracks separated or paralleled by one or two siding or "pocket" tracks. These allow RESEARCH METHODOLOGY storage of revenue trains between peak periods or of work equipment without returning it to end-of-line yards. Literature Review The operating rules on these systems require trains and equipment using these tracks to move at restricted speed, As part of the initial research, a literature review was con- permitting the operator to stop when anyone or anything ducted to identify available, relevant documents and resources. is observed fouling the track. The review used an array of web-based search tools, includ- · Shared-use ROW. A significant variable in the develop- ing TRB's Transport Research International Documentation ment and implementation of work zone safety measures database, which integrates more than 900,000 records of is whether track runs along an exclusive-use ROW or transportation research from TRB's Transportation Research on the street in mixed traffic. Shared-use ROW introduces Information Services (TRIS) database and the OECD's Joint a host of additional complications and considerations in Transport Research Centre's International Transport Research protecting employees from not only train movement but Documentation database. The researchers also reviewed also mixed, rubber-tired vehicular traffic. relevant, open-source documents available from the NTSB, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and FTA, includ- ing research, academic, technical, guidance, and training docu- Operational Factors ments produced by the Volpe Center, the Transportation Safety Institute, and the FTA University Transportation Centers. This Operational factors are system characteristics that introduce or process also utilized advice and direction from panel members, compound a hazardous condition through continuous train or APTA staff, rail transit system safety professionals, and rep- equipment movement, and energized traction power, including: resentatives from rail transit-oriented labor unions and the Transportation Trades Division of the AFL-CIO. · Train speeds. When trains or equipment are operated through work areas at normal or close-to-normal speeds, The search revealed several investigative or analytical track workers are constrained in their options and ability reports that examined specific incidents and organizational to safely clear the "foul area," and operators are limited or systemic issues in the public transit industry and the FTA. in their stopping distances. The reports issued by the NTSB or the U.S. Government · Daily hours of revenue service. Revenue service hours Accountability Office primarily provided detailed insights into vary from system to system. Systems often shut down incident root and contributing causes for some accidents, revenue service overnight for approximately 4 h. This recommendations for changes in FTA oversight and data man- service cessation provides a work period for track, com- agement practices, or suggestions for organizational measures munications and signals, and traction power employees to improve overall system safety practices and cultures within to perform inspections, repairs, and replacements that the transit agencies addressed in the report or investigation. otherwise would be performed during normal operating hours. Also discovered in the search were a number of technical · Train headways. The variable headways between systems, and academic research papers, trade publication articles, and as well as between different lines within one system, trade association reports that focused primarily on railroad-- affect the design and implementation of effective prac- as opposed to rail transit--ROW safety practices. Also, many tices to protect workers. of these resources were generated abroad, most typically in the United Kingdom, and focused on rail operations in that Panel discussions and some of the initial agency interviews and other European or Asian countries. These were usually explored ways in which emergency responders are addressed developed by academia, industry, or partnerships and tended in ROW safety programs. All the systems in the study offer toward technical rather than practice-based issues. some form of "ROW Hazard Awareness" training to all police, fire, and emergency medical services agencies serving their The two primary domestic resources identified in the system. However, the systems do not offer extensive ROW review were the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 214, protection training because operational practices or rules Subpart C--Roadway Worker Protection, which is the regu- typically dictate the suspension of service and operations lation governing maintenance-of-way practices on all rail lines once an emergency response agency enters the ROW. During under the oversight of the FRA, and the "Standard for Work prolonged periods of service disruption, agencies may work Zone Safety," developed through industry consensus, by cooperatively with the police, fire, or emergency medical APTA. The APTA standard--as with most industry standards services officers to provide them with safe operational zones regardless of sector--provides high-level, conceptual guide- while starting limited service, but these activities are always lines for what should be included in rail transit system work
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5 zone safety rules and procedures. It does not provide detailed New York City Transit (NYCT), Maryland Transportation information or prescriptive direction for developing rules, Administration (MTA), the Toronto Transit Commission practices, training courses, or other ROW worker protection (TTC), and the Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit System program components. Likewise, CFR 214 Subpart C provides (River LINE) operation. These systems were selected with direction relative to complying with the regulation. It does thorough input, guidance, direction, and suggestions from not offer guidance for developing a track worker protection the project panel to ensure that, within the scope and resources program. A third document that is in development is another of the project, the sample set would represent a range of APTA standard, entitled "Roadway Worker Protection Pro- modal, operational, demographic, size, and historical charac- gram Requirements." The draft version of this standard closely teristics, including a spectrum of organizational, cultural, and follows the 214, Subpart C regulations relative to levels of environmental factors. Within this group, two of the largest protection, types of protection, and terminology. and oldest rail transit systems in the United States and the oldest in Canada provided a perspective on approaches to Apart from post-incident reports, which tend to focus on addressing large, complex track maintenance operations in bad practices that caused or contributed to an accident and systems with little or no downtime and minimal headways. therefore should not be used, the literature review found They also offer insights into how the systems, and the ROW minimal resources that could be employed in developing such safety practices and rules, have evolved over time and through elements as rules, practices, personal protection equipment unfortunate incidents. Initial discussions with panel members (PPE) requirements, communication guidelines, core equip- identified that "maintenance windows" in which track inspec- ment needs, or training courses, of a comprehensive rail transit tions or maintenance can be done, are the biggest challenge ROW worker safety program. in scheduling and in protecting track workers. By including systems with little or no "maintenance windows," including NYCT, which operates 24 h a day, 7 days a week, the study Transit Agency Interviews and Site Visits would identify practices for affording protection in the most challenging situations. Three of the systems also demon- Extensive consultation with project panel members deter- strated how multi-rail modal systems adapt and modify mined that a survey method of research would not provide rules to fit the needs of each operation or line. One system, the appropriate level of detail to the study. Although a survey MBTA, has adopted the rail ROW practices for maintenance- would have helped identify broadly which systems had track of-way (MOW) employees on its new bus rapid transit line and worker protection processes and specific rules, it would not tunnel infrastructure. Lastly, two systems that operate lengthy have provided the needed breadth and depth of relevant and growing light rail systems, MTA and the River LINE, information on successful practices. Focusing in detail on a have built track worker safety programs on existing Federal sample of systems would allow for greater exposure of the Railroad Regulatory guidelines to establish an effective MOW procedures and practices used, as well as the experiences and protection program and comply with FRA rules. lessons learned in developing and implementing track worker protection program elements, including work rules, training, The literature review and site visits also revealed a lack of and technology. Panel members and TCRP staff determined standardization in terminology. Some systems use the terms that an acceptable and more effective research process for "flagman" or "flagperson" and "watchman" or "watchperson" this project would be to develop case studies that focused to define positions with different duties and responsibilities, on four to five systems that would participate in the study and some of the systems use the terms interchangeably. The through face-to-face and telephone interviews, host research term "right-of-way" or "ROW" is also defined in varying ways. site visits, and provide extensive materials for review. These Some systems define or establish ROW as an area that is a set materials included rule books; training programs; work orders; and consistent distance from either the center of the track or bulletins; policy and rule change orders; agency work forms; the outside rail. Other systems define it as the area from one and specifications for PPE, warning and flagging devices, and edge of the ballast to the other; the property on which all of other technological devices or infrastructure modifications. the track, power, signals, and other wayside equipment and The site visits were used to conduct face-to-face meetings with structures are located; or from wall-to-wall or fence-to-fence. all levels of relevant personnel and to observe track worker Some of the definitions are applicable primarily to heavy protection practices firsthand, from off the ROW. Witnessing rail systems that have fences or walls separating the tracks flagging and work-site procedures in practice helped illustrate and supporting systems from public spaces. These definitions, the manner in which policies and rules regarding flagging, however, would not be appropriate for many light rail systems PPE, warning devices, and general track-level work practices that run through public streets or on at-grade ROWs that are are synergized to provide an effective track worker protection not protected by fences or other barriers. Another area of program. a rail transit system that is called by multiple terms is the zone that rail equipment occupies when moving down a Ultimately, the five systems that provided materials, track. On some systems, this is part of the broader ROW; on participated in extensive interviews and site visits, or both were others it defines the ROW. Termed "the dynamic envelope" the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), on some systems, this area or zone is where anyone or anything