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Transportation Research Board Washington, D.C. 2015 www.TRB.org Evaluation of the Federal Railroad Administration Research and Development Program S P E C I A L R E P O R T 3 1 6 Committee for Evaluation of the Federal Railroad Administration Research and Development Program TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Transportation Research Board Special Report 316 Subscriber Categories Railroads; research (about research); administration and management; safety and human factors Transportation Research Board publications are available by ordering individual publi- cations directly from the TRB Business Office, through the Internet at www.TRB.org or nationalacademies.org/trb, or by annual subscription through organizational or indi- vidual affiliation with TRB. Affiliates and library subscribers are eligible for substantial discounts. For further information, contact the Transportation Research Board Busi- ness Office, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (telephone 202-334-3213; fax 202-334-2519; or e-mail TRBsales@nas.edu). Copyright 2015 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Insti- tute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to the pro- cedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This report was sponsored by the Federal Railroad Administration, United States Department of Transportation. Cover images: Apparatus, simulation, and test results from a study of autonomous bro- ken rail detection technology sponsored by the Federal Railroad Administration. Typesetting by Circle Graphics, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board. Committee for Evaluation of the Federal Railroad Administration Research and Development Program, author. Evaluation of the Federal Railroad Administration research and development program / Committee for Evaluation of the Federal Railroad Administration Research and Development Program. pages cm â (Transportation Research Board special report ; 316) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-309-29569-7 1. United States. Federal Railroad Administration. Office of Research and DevelopmentâEvaluation. 2. RailroadsâResearchâUnited States. 3. Railroadsâ Safety measuresâResearchâUnited States. 4. Federal aid to researchâUnited States. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board, issuing body. II. Title. III. Series: Special report (National Research Council (U.S.). Transportation Research Board) ; 316. TF23.N35 2015 354.76'72740973âdc23 2015017973
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a man- date that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., is president of the National Acad- emy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examina- tion of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academyâs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the sci- entific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Acad- emies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, con- ducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transporta- tion 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 administra- tions of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
Committee for Evaluation of the Federal Railroad Administration Research and Development Program John M. Samuels, Jr., Revenue Variable Engineering, LLC, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Chair Mehdi Ahmadian, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Christopher Barkan, University of Illinois at UrbanaâChampaign David Connell, Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha, Nebraska Judith Gertler, Wellesley, Massachusetts Donald Graab, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia John Harrison, Seattle, Washington Chris Hendrickson, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania E. Keith Holt, Amtrak, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Anson Jack, Rail Safety and Standards Board and University of Birmingham, United Kingdom Edward La Guardia, Michael Baker International, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Charles Lynch, Gannett Fleming Transit and Rail Systems, Jacksonville, Florida Roger McCarthy, McCarthy Engineering, Palo Alto, California Tamara Nicholson, Iowa Department of Transportation, Ames Andrzej Nowak, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama Bryan Reimer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge James A. Stem, Jr., Raleigh, North Carolina Vincent Verna, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Washington, D.C. Transportation Research Board Staff Joseph R. Morris, Study Director Katherine Kortum, Program Officer
Preface The Transportation Research Board formed the Committee for Evalua- tion of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Research and Devel- opment (R&D) Program at the request of FRA to review the products and services that FRAâs Office of R&D provides to FRA and to the railroad industry. The committee included members with expertise in mechani- cal, civil, electrical, and industrial engineering; safety and risk analysis; human factors; technology and R&D management; and railroad manage- ment, operations, and labor. The purpose of the review was to assist the Office of R&D in identifying research priorities, conducting successful research, and ensuring that its products find applications that contribute to railroad safety. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with pro- cedures approved by the National Research Councilâs (NRCâs) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to pro- vide candid and critical comments that assist the authors and NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review com- ments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integ- rity of the deliberative process. The following individuals participated in the review of this report: Lawrence Fleischer, Burlington North- ern Santa Fe Railway, Fort Worth, Texas; Sue McNeil, University of Delaware, Newark; Gregory Mellish, CSX Corporation, Jacksonville, Florida; Louis Thompson, Thompson, Galenson and Associates, LLC, Chevy Chase, Maryland; and Paul Worley, North Carolina Depart- ment of Transportation, Raleigh. Although the reviewers provided vii
viii Evaluation of the Federal Railroad Administration Research and Development Program many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the committeeâs conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Henry G. Schwartz, consul- tant. Appointed by NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were care- fully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Joseph R. Morris managed the study and drafted portions of the report under the guidance of the committee and the supervision of Stephen R. Godwin, Director, Studies and Special Programs. Katherine Kortum provided staff support for the committeeâs review of rolling stock and human factors research. Karen Febey, Senior Report Review Officer, managed the report review process. Norman Solomon edited the report, Jennifer J. Weeks prepared the prepublication edition for web posting, and Juanita Green managed the final book production under the supervision of Javy Awan, Director of Publications. Timothy Devlin assisted with meeting arrangements and communications with commit- tee members.
Contents Summary 1 Conclusions on the R&D Divisionsâ Programs 3 Conclusions on R&D Support Functions 5 Recommendations 7 1 Introduction 9 Method of the Review 12 Organization of the Report 13 2 Track and Structures 14 Case Study Projects 14 Context 16 Input 17 Impact 19 3 Human Factors 21 Case Study Projects 21 Context 23 Input 24 Impact 26
4 Rolling Stock 28 Case Study Projects 28 Context 30 Input 31 Impact 32 5 Train Control and Communications 34 Case Study Projects 34 Context 36 Input 37 Impact 38 6 R&D Support Functions 40 Communication 42 Priority Setting 44 Strategic Planning 47 Evaluation 48 References 50 Appendix: Statement of Task 51 Study Committee Biographical Information 54