Technical Reports

Railroad Right-of-Way Incident Analysis Research

  • 01
  • Apr
  • 2011
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-11/09
KEYWORDS: Hotspots; grade crossing; trespass; accident prediction; severity prediction; risk; cluster analysis; geographic information system platform
ABSTRACT: Locations of railroad right-of-way incidents in this research were identified as hotspots. These can be defined as highway-rail grade crossings or locations along the railroad right-of-way where collision or trespassing risk is unacceptably high and intervention is justified because the potential safety benefits exceed the cost of intervention. This project categorizes the hotspots as grade crossing and trespass incident hotspots. Mathematical models and theories are researched to see which ones may be used in identifying the hotspots. For the analysis of grade crossing incident hotspots, the Transport Canada model is modified to accommodate U.S. data and is applied to a sample of grade crossing incidents from 2003 to 2007 in the San Joaquin corridor in California. In analyzing trespass incident hotspots, the theory of cluster analysis, a type of spatial analysis, was researched. It appears that cluster analysis, used in conjunction with a geographic information system platform, would be a beneficial way of analyzing and predicting trespass hotspots.
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