The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) was created by the Department ofTransportation Act of 1966. It is one of ten agencies within the U.S. Department ofTransportation concerned with intermodal transportation. FRA promotes safe,environmentally sound, successful railroad transportation to meet the needs of all customers today and tomorrow.
FRA's Office of Railroad Safety promotes and regulates safety throughout the Nation's railroad industry. The office executes its regulatory and inspection responsibilities through a diverse staff of railroad safety experts.
The Federal Railroad Administration is responsible for working with stakeholders to develop cohesive goals and policies for maintaining and improving the U.S. freight and passenger rail networks. This section covers various efforts across America and the world in helping to deliver safe, reliable, and efficient rail transportation.
FRA Research & Development (R&D) projects contribute to the FRA's safety regulatory processes, to railroad suppliers, to railroads involved in the transportation of freight, intercity passengers, commuters, and to railroad employees and their labor organizations.
In this section, we provide descriptions and comprehensive, official sources for FRA's regulations (also called rules), selected legislation, as well as policy and guidance documents. Additionally, you will find current topics of high interest or significant impact to Congress, railroads, employees, labor, public interest groups and other stakeholders.
FRA supports passenger and freight railroading through a variety of competitive grant, dedicated grant, and loan programs to develop safety improvements, relieve congestion, and encourage the expansion and upgrade of passenger and freight rail infrastructure and services. FRA also provides training and technical assistance to grantees and stakeholders.
Validation and Calibration of a Fatigue Assessment Tool for Railroad Work Schedules - Summary Report
AUTHOR: Steven R. Hursh, Ph.D., 1 Thomas G. Raslear, Ph.D., 2 A. Scott Kaye,3 and Joseph F. Fanzone, Jr. OFFICE: RPD REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-06/21 KEYWORDS: Fatigue, biomathematical fatigue model, work schedules, accidents, train operators, performance, effectiveness, risk, safety, freight rail operations, sleep, circadian rhythm, model validation. ABSTRACT: This report summarizes the results of a project to demonstrate a method to validate and calibrate a fatigue model. The project examined 30-day work histories of locomotive crews prior to 400 human factors accidents and 1000 nonhuman factors accidents. A biomathematical fatigue model estimated crew effectiveness (the inverse of fatigue) based entirely on work schedule information and opportunities to obtain sleep. A reliable linear relationship existed between crew effectiveness and the risk of a human factors accident (r = - 0.93); no such relationship was found for nonhuman factors accidents. This result satisfied the criteria for model validation. A reliable time of day variation occurred in human factors accidents (r = 0.71) but not in nonhuman factors accidents. The risk of human factors accidents was elevated at any effectiveness score below 90 and increased progressively with reduced effectiveness. At an effectiveness score ≤ 50, human factors accidents were 65 percent more likely than chance. Human factors accident risk increases reliably when effectiveness goes below 70, a value that is the rough equivalent of a 0.08 blood alcohol level or being awake for 21 hour following an 8-hour sleep period the previous night. Below an effectiveness score of 70, accident cause codes indicated the kinds of operator errors consistent with fatigue, confirming that the relationship between accident risk and effectiveness was meaningful.