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Committee for a Review of the Federal Railroad Administrationâs R&D Program A Consensus Study Report of Review of the Federal Railroad Administrationâs Research and Development Program TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD SPECIAL REPORT 334 PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs
Transportation Research Board Special Report 334 Subscriber Categories: Railroads; research (about research); administration and management; safety and human factors Transportation Research Board publications are available by ordering individual publications directly from the TRB Business Office, through the Internet at www. TRB.org or nationalacademies.org/trb, or by annual subscription through organi- zational or individual affiliation with TRB. Affiliates and library subscribers are eligible for substantial discounts. For further information, contact the Transporta- tion Research Board Business Office, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (telephone 202-334-3213; fax 202-334-2519; or e-mail TRBsales@nas.edu). Copyright 2020 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America This publication was reviewed by a group other than the authors according to the procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine. This study was sponsored by the Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-XXXXX-X International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-XXXXX-X Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/XXXXX Library of Congress Control Number: XXXXXXXXX PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institu- tion to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the char- ter 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. John L. Anderson 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 ad- vice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National 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.nationalacademies.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 provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence- based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of trans- portation. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their exper- tise in the public interest. The program is supported by state departments of transportation, 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. PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs
Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the studyâs statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typi- cally include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committeeâs deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task. Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opin- ions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies. For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo. PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs
PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs v COMMITTEE FOR A REVIEW OF THE FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATIONâS R&D PROGRAM John M. Samuels, Jr., Revenue Variable Engineering, LLC, West Palm Beach, Florida, Chair Melvin Clark, LTK Engineering Services, Round Rock, Texas David B. Clarke, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Philip J. Daum, Engineering Systems Inc., Aurora, Illinois Eric Gehringer, Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha, Nebraska Judith Gertler, Independent Consultant, Wellesley, Massachusetts Sharon Harmsworth, TTX Company (retired), Chicago, Illinois Theresa M. Impastato, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, District of Columbia Ian P. Savage, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois Jo E. Strang, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, Washington, District of Columbia French F. Thompson III, BNSF Railway, San Bernardino, California David Thurston, Canadian Pacific Railway, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Vincent G. Verna, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Washington, District of Columbia Lisa Wilson, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia Transportation Research Board Staff Micah D. Himmel, Study Director Thomas R. Menzies, Jr., Director of Consensus and Advisory Studies Anusha Jayasinghe, Associate Program Officer Michael Covington, Senior Program Assistant Claudia Sauls, Program Coordinator
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PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs vii Preface The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Office of Research, Develop- ment, and Technology (RD&T) has engaged the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) since the 1990s to provide a review of its research services and products. The first review was requested by Con- gress in 1995. Since then, TRB study committees have conducted several additional independent reviews of the RD&T program at the request of FRA. In 2018, RD&T commissioned this study charged with âvalidating FRAâs process to identify new priorities for addressing emerging safety is- sues and trends, and evaluating the feasibility, usefulness, effectiveness, and impact of R&D products and services in railroad safety.â The study charge is presented in full and discussed in Chapter 1. To conduct the study, TRB convened a committee of experts whose fields range from railroad engineering, safety assurance, and R&D program evaluation to human factors, railroad management, and labor. Led by John M. Samuels, Jr. (National Academy of Engineering), President of Revenue Variable Engineering, LLC, the committee members authored the reportâs conclusions and recommendations through a consensus effort while serving uncompensated in the public interest. Biographical information about the committee members appears at the end of the report. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee thanks the many individuals and organizations who con- tributed to its work.
viii PREFACE PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs The FRA liaison for the study was Tarek Omar, Program Manager, Rolling Stock Research Division, who provided contract oversight and handled information requests from the committee. Maryam Allahyar, Di- rector, RD&T, briefed the committee on the study charge and the R&D support functions. The committee was briefed by or received information from the following FRA officials: Sam Alibrahim, Gary Carr, Leonard Evans, Gary Fairbanks, Les Fiorenzo (retired), Frank Frey, Michele Geary, Francisco GonzÃ¡lez, Jeffrey Gordon, Michail Grizkewitsch, Francesco Be- dini Jacobini, Starr Kidda, Miriam Kloeppel, James Payne, Ali Tajaddini, and Khaled Zaazaa. The committeeâs review of the four research divisions benefitted from input of many industry experts, some of whom contributed in more than one area. For track and structures, the committee heard from Mehdi Ah- madian, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Riley Edwards, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jeff Moller, Association of American Railroads (AAR); Brenda Moscoso, AAR; Melody Sheahan, AAR; and Allan Zarembski, University of Delaware. For human factors, the committee was briefed by Carl Belke, D&H Rail Consulting LLC; Lawrence Fleischer, BNSF Railway Company (BNSF); Muriel Friday, Capi- tal Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Kirk Gill, Canadian National Railway (CN); Ken Glover and Eric Holton, Genesee & Wyoming Inc.; Hilary Konczal, Metra; Alex Lang, Carload Express, Inc.; Andrew Liu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Joshua McCormack, Maryland Department of Transportation; Tom Meierhoff, Iowa Interstate Railroad; Jason Myers, Norfolk Southern Railway (NS); Aaron Ratledge, BNSF; Lisa Staes, Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida; Tim Tenne, Amtrak; and Justin Vonashek, Metro-North. For roll- ing stock, the committee was briefed by Christopher Barkan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Dean Del Peschio, MARC Train Service; Hai Huang, Penn State Altoona; Ron Hynes, AAR; Darrell Iler, CN; and Michael Trosino, Amtrak. For train control and communications, the com- mittee received input from Gail Bickerstaffe, Canadian Pacific Railway; Joseph Brosseau, AAR; Eric A. Hullemeyer, NS; Michael R. Newcomb, Union Pacific Railroad; David Olson, CSX Transportation; Tim Pulak, CN; Narayana Sundaram, American Public Transportation Association; Ed Til- ley, BNSF; and Doug Vogl, Kansas City Southern Railway. Serving as the study director, Micah D. Himmel, TRB, managed the study and drafted the report under the guidance of the committee and supervision of Thomas R. Menzies, Jr., Director, Consensus and Advisory Studies, TRB. Karen Febey, Senior Report Review Officer, TRB, managed the report review process. Michael Covington, Senior Program Assistant, TRB, provided administrative and logistical support. Anusha Jayasinghe,
PREFACE ix PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs Associate Program Officer, TRB, and Claudia Sauls, Program Coordinator, TRB, assisted in preparing the report for publication. This report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this indepen- dent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectiv- ity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The committee thanks the following individuals for their review of this report: Roger McCarthy, McCarthy Engineering, Palo Alto, California; Ann Mills, Rail Safety and Standards Board, London, England; Dimitris Rizos, University of South Carolina, Columbia; and Howard Stone, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive com- ments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Chris T. Hendrickson (National Academy of Engineering), Carnegie Mellon University (emeri- tus), and Craig E. Philip (National Academy of Engineering), Vanderbilt University. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the au- thoring committee and the National Academies.
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PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs xi Contents Summary 1 1 Introduction 11 Approach to Conducting the Review, 15 Report Organization, 18 2 Track and Structures 19 Role of Derailment Data in the Identification of Research Needs, 20 Other Considerations When Programming Research, 23 Program Budget Allocations, 24 External Views on Research Relevance and Impact, 24 Insights on Project Selection, Procurement, and Impacts from a Sampling of Projects, 26 Observations, 29 Recommendation, 31 Annex, 32 3 Human Factors 37 Role of Incident Data in the Identification of Research Needs, 38 Other Considerations When Programming Research, 42 Program Budget Allocations, 43 External Views on Research Relevance and Impact, 44 Observations, 45 Recommendations, 46 Annex, 48
xii CONTENTS PREPUBLICATION COPYâUncorrected Proofs 4 Rolling Stock 49 Role of Incident Data in the Identification of Research Needs, 50 Other Considerations When Programming Research, 52 Program Budget Allocations, 53 External Views on Research Relevance and Impact, 53 Insights on Project Selection, Procurement, and Impacts from a Sampling of Projects, 56 Observations, 58 Recommendation, 59 Annex, 60 5 Train Control and Communications 65 Role of Incident Data in the Identification of Research Needs, 66 Other Considerations When Programming Research, 68 Program Budget Allocations, 70 External Views on Research Relevance and Impact, 70 Sampled Projects, 71 Observations, 73 Recommendation, 74 Annex, 75 6 Office of Research, Development, and Technology Support Functions 77 Strategic Planning, 82 Communications, 85 Evaluation, 88 Recommendations, 90 References 93 Appendixes A Railroad Safety Statistics 97 B Committee for a Review of the Federal Railroad Administrationâs R&D Program Study Participants 99 C Study Committee Biographical Information 103