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N A T I O N A L C O O P E R A T I V E R A I L R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M NCRRP REPORT 2 A Guide to Building and Retaining Workforce Capacity for the Railroad Industry QinetiQ north AmericA Waltham, MA hile Group Normal, IL DepArtment of enGineerinG professionAl Development, university of Wisconsin Madison, WI Subscriber Categories Education and Training â¢ Policy â¢ Railroads TRANSPORTAT ION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2015 www.TRB.org Research sponsored by the Federal Railroad Administration
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE RAIL RESEARCH PROGRAM The National Cooperative Rail Research Program (NCRRP) conducts applied research on problems important to freight, intercity, and commuter rail operators. Research is necessary to solve common operating problems, adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and introduce innovations into the rail industry. NCRRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by freight, intercity, and commuter rail operating agencies and are not being adequately addressed by existing federal research programs. NCRRP undertakes research and other technical activities in various rail subject areas, including design, construction, maintenance, operations, safety, security, finance and economics, policy, planning, human resources, and administration. NCRRP was authorized in October 2008 as part of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PL 100-432, Division B). The Program is sponsored by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and managed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medi- cine, acting through its Transportation Research Board (TRB), with pro- gram oversight provided by an independent governing board (the NCRRP Oversight Committee [ROC]) including representatives of rail operating agencies. NCRRP carries out applied research on problems that address, among other matters, (1) intercity rail passenger and freight rail services, includ- ing existing rail passenger and freight technologies and speeds, incremen- tally enhanced rail systems and infrastructure, and new high-speed wheel- on-rail systems; (2) ways to expand the transportation of international trade traffic by rail, enhance the efficiency of intermodal interchange at ports and other intermodal terminals, and increase capacity and avail- ability of rail service for seasonal freight needs; (3) the interconnectedness of commuter rail, passenger rail, freight rail, and other rail networks; and (4) regional concerns regarding rail passenger and freight transportation, including meeting research needs common to designated high-speed cor- ridors, long-distance rail services, and regional intercity rail corridors, projects, and entities. NCRRP considers research designed to (1) identify the unique aspects and attributes of rail passenger and freight service; (2) develop more accu- rate models for evaluating the impact of rail passenger and freight service, including the effects on highway, airport, and airway congestion, environ- mental quality, energy consumption, and local and regional economies; (3) develop a better understanding of modal choice as it affects rail passenger and freight transportation, including development of better models to pre- dict utilization; (4) recommend priorities for technology demonstration and development; (5) meet additional priorities as determined by the advisory board; (6) explore improvements in management, financing, and institu- tional structures; (7) address rail capacity constraints that affect passenger and freight rail service through a wide variety of options, ranging from oper- ating improvements to dedicated new infrastructure, taking into account the impact of such options on operations; (8) improve maintenance, operations, customer service, or other aspects of intercity rail passenger and freight service; (9) recommend objective methods for determining intercity pas- senger rail routes and services, including the establishment of new routes, the elimination of existing routes, and the contraction or expansion of ser- vices or frequencies over such routes; (10) review the impact of equipment and operational safety standards on the further development of high-speed passenger rail operations connected to or integrated with non-high-speed freight or passenger rail operations; (11) recommend any legislative or regu- latory changes necessary to foster further development and implementation of high-speed passenger rail operations while ensuring the safety of such operations that are connected to or integrated with non-high-speed freight or passenger rail operations; (12) review rail crossing safety improvements, including improvements using new safety technology; and (13) review and develop technology designed to reduce train horn noise and its effect on communities, including broadband horn technology. The primary participants in NCRRP are (1) an independent govern- ing board, the ROC, appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation with representation from freight, intercity, and commuter rail operating agencies, other stakeholders, and relevant industry organiza- tions such as the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and the National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) as vital links to the rail commu- nity; (2) TRB as program manager and secretariat for the governing board; and (3) the FRA as program sponsor. NCRRP benefits from the coopera- tion and participation of rail professionals, equipment and service suppli- ers, other rail users, and research organizations. Each of these participants has different interests and responsibilities, and each is an integral part of this cooperative research effort. Published reports of the NATIONAL COOPERATIVE RAIL RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to http://www.national-academies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America NCRRP REPORT 2 Project 06-01 ISSN 2376-9165 ISBN 978-0-309-37484-2 Library of Congress Control Number 2015951704 Â© 2015 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FRA, FTA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, PHMSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the National Cooperative Rail Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS QinetiQ North America would like to acknowledge the guidance and comments of the NCRRP Proj- ect 06-01 panel. The research team recognizes and is grateful for the efforts and inputs from all stake- holders consulted as part of this research project, especially the railroad representatives, the Association of American Railroads, labor union representatives, and all the workforce employees who offered their insight and opinions. CRP STAFF FOR NCRRP REPORT 2 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lawrence D. Goldstein, Senior Program Officer Anthony P. Avery, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Senior Editor NCRRP PROJECT 06-01 PANEL Field of Human Resources Stephen D. Van Beek, ICF, Fairfax, VA (Chair) Lee Lawton, New York City MTA, New York, NY Gary Maslanka, Transport Workers Union of America, AFLâCIO, Washington, DC Shashi S. Nambisan, University of TennesseeâKnoxville, Knoxville, TN Suzann S. Rhodes, Suzann Rhodes, LLC, Prospect, OH Dallas Richards, TranSystems Corporation, Springfield, VA David Thurston, ATKINS, Coraopolis, PA Monique F. Stewart, FRA Liaison Fran Hooper, APTA Liaison Richard A. Inclima, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Liaison Timothy M. Tarrant, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen Liaison Scott Babcock, TRB Liaison
NCRRP Report 2: A Guide to Building and Retaining Workforce Capacity for the Railroad Industry uses a comprehensive review and analysis of employee characteristics of the rail- road industryâincluding an assessment of past trends and current forecasts and a detailed gap analysis of employee supply and demandâto formulate a series of competency models describing workforce requirements for the passenger and freight railroad industry. The report also presents a strategy for improving employee retention and develops recommendations for enhancing educational programs designed to attract new employees to the industryâ employees who meet the demands of these competency requirements. The competency models presented in the report focus on performance needs rather than credentials, establishing criteria for exemplary rather than minimal characteristics. These models encompass the four major categories of employment within the industry as well as subcategories providing detail for each. This report serves as a guide to the industry on how to respond to the long-term need for building an effective workforce to support the growth of the rail industry, both passenger and freight, in a changing and evolving environment. Used as a guide, this report can assist the railroad industry as a whole, from management to human resource recruiters, in building a quality workforce for the future. It will also be useful to college and university educators as they formulate curricula and build training programs to attract new workers into the industry. The American railroad industry continues to change dramatically. Freight railroads have merged and consolidated, rationalizing their assets and workforce. Further, both the freight and passenger railroad labor pools have aged and have decreased in size with the retirement of their members. It is widely perceived that, in the face of expanding demand and potential growth, the railroad industry will be unable to attract and maintain a sufficient number of new, qualified employees at all levels. Without major changes in programs to train, maintain, and enhance the workforce, trends suggest that the future will continue to present significant challenges for both freight and pas- senger rail services. These challenges have been exacerbated as aging workers reach retirement and qualified replacements are hard to find. Yet the railroads continue to expand, particularly in the amount of cargo that is expected to be moved by freight rail in the future. Investments are being made to increase capacity of freight rail and to improve passenger rail services as a function of changing demand. In addition, new technologies are expected to increase effi- ciency while requiring new and different skills from future workers. Seeking ways to address these changing and evolving conditions is the focus of this study. In response to these challenges, a team headed by QinetiQ North America, with assistance from the Hile Group and the University of Wisconsin, Department of Engineering Professional F O R E W O R D By Lawrence D. Goldstein Staff Officer Transportation Research Board
Development, has prepared a report addressing a broad range of issues and concerns affect- ing workforce capacity and training. Building on information gathered from previous studies completed by the Federal Railroad Administration and others, meetings with focus groups, and interviews with experts in the industry, the research team developed options for building a quality future workforce, including implementation strategies designed to help slow down and reverse the long-time pattern of contrition. The detailed set of competency models presented in the study covers all levels and types of employment within the industry: management, operations and maintenance, safety, and craftworkers. It identifies past employment characteristics and projected declines in total workforce, describes gaps in existing education and training programs, and recommends strategies to reverse those trends. It also proposes steps for educational institutions to expand and create new approaches to attract young professionals into training programs for the industry. The competency models focus on the concept of performance and defining criteria necessary to measure high performance, detailing the skills and technical training required to deliver an effective future workforce.
1 Summary 5 Chapter 1 Introduction 8 Objectives and Scope of Study 9 Overall Approach 10 Chapter 2 Literature Review 10 Industry Workforce 10 Railroad Recruitment 17 Railroad Retention 23 International Workforce Development Initiatives 23 Key International Agencies 25 Recruitment Efforts 29 Retention Efforts 31 Lessons Learned 33 Chapter 3 Perspectives on Recruitment and Retention Practices, Strategies, and Challenges 33 Focus Groups on Railroad Recruitment, Training, and Retention in Craftworkers 33 Participant Recruitment 33 Participant Profiles 34 Major Themes by Location 42 Overall Themes 42 Survey of Workforce on Railroad Recruitment, Training, and Retention 42 Key Findings 43 Results of Craftworker Recruitment and Retention Survey 60 Results of Rail Engineering and Operations Recruitment and Retention Survey 72 Summary of the Railroad Competency Model Survey 81 Structured Interviews with Railroad Human Resource Personnel 81 Purpose and Methodology 81 Recruitment 84 Education and Training 85 Retention 86 Conclusion 86 Structured Interviews with Executive Leaders 86 Survey Design 87 Executive Leader Demographics 88 Data Analysis 89 Chapter 4 Workforce Competency Models 90 Rail Business Leaders and Executives 90 The Competency Model C O N T E N T S
103 Competencies Overlap: Executive Leaders, Operations Managers, and System Engineers 105 Rail Transportation Operations Manager Competency Model 105 Overview 107 Competency: Domain KnowledgeâOperations 108 Competency: Communications and Signal Operations 109 Competency: Yard and Terminal Operations 110 Competency: Asset Management 110 Competency: Information Management 111 Competency: Traffic Planning and Logistics 112 Competency: Commitment to Safety 113 Competency: Business Acumen and Customer Awareness 115 Competency: Project Management 116 Competency: Personal Effectiveness 117 Competency: Commitment to Standards 118 Competency: Utilization of Information Management Tools and Support Systems 119 Rail Transportation System Engineer Competency Model 119 Overview 121 Competency: Domain KnowledgeâEngineering 122 Competency: Track and Infrastructure Engineering 123 Competency: Rolling Stock Engineering 124 Competency: Communication and Rail Signal Engineering 125 Competency: Engineering of Bridges and Structures 126 Competency: Control Systems Engineering 127 Competency: Commitment to Safety 129 Competency: Project Management 130 Competency: Personal Effectiveness 132 Competency: Commitment to Standards 133 Competency: Utilization of Engineering Tools and Support Systems 133 Rail Transportation Craftworker Competency Model 133 Overview 135 Competency: Domain KnowledgeâTrain and Engine Personnel 138 Competency: Domain KnowledgeâDispatchers 139 Competency: Domain KnowledgeâSignal Personnel 140 Competency: Domain KnowledgeâCommunications Personnel 142 Competency: Domain KnowledgeâMechanical Personnel 148 Competency: Domain KnowledgeâMOW Workers and Machinery Operators 152 Confirming Behaviors for Craftworker Domain Knowledge Competencies 153 Competency: Commitment to Safety 154 Competency: Personal Effectiveness 155 Competency: Commitment to Standards 157 Chapter 5 Education 157 Rail-Related Education in the United States 157 Literature Review 161 Educational Programs Currently Offered in the United States 162 Educational Opportunities in Executive Leadership 164 Stanford Executive Program 164 Program for Leadership Development 165 Leadership at the Peak
165 Development Strategies 165 Academic Curriculum 165 Educational Opportunities Abroad 165 University Programs 169 International On-the-Job Training Opportunities 172 Chapter 6 Assessment of Industry Needs/Gap Analysis for Railroad Workforce 172 Gap AnalysisâOperations Manager 175 Gap AnalysisâSystem Engineer 177 Gap AnalysisâTrain and Engine Personnel 177 Discipline: Locomotive Engineers 178 Discipline: Conductors/Brakemen 179 Gap AnalysisâRailroad Dispatcher 180 Gap AnalysisâSignal Personnel 182 Gap AnalysisâCommunications Personnel 183 Gap AnalysisâMechanical Personnel 184 Discipline: Boilermakers 185 Discipline: Carmen 186 Discipline: Electricians 187 Discipline: Mechanics 188 Discipline: Pipefitters 189 Discipline: Shop Laborers 189 Gap AnalysisâMaintenance-of-Way Workers 191 Conclusions 192 Chapter 7 Strategies for Building and Maintaining a Railroad Workforce 192 Strategies for Business Leaders and Executives 192 Formal Organizational Strategies 196 Informal Organizational Strategies 197 Voluntary Strategies 198 Relationships Among These Strategies 198 Observations About Competency Needs of Future Leaders 199 Strategies for the Workforce 199 Recruitment Practices and Recommendations 201 Training Practices and Recommendations 203 Retention Practices and Recommendations 204 Conclusions 205 References A-1 Appendix A Focus Group Questions B-1 Appendix B Recruitment and Retention Survey for Craftworkers C-1 Appendix C Recruitment and Retention Survey for Operations Managers and System Engineers D-1 Appendix D Executive Leader Interview Tool E-1 Appendix E HR Structured Interview Questions