Technical Reports

Engineman Stress and Fatigue: Pilot Study

  • 01
  • Feb
  • 1993
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
OFFICE: RPD
SUBOFFICE: RPD-30
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-92/17
KEYWORDS: Fatigue; Stress; Locomotive Engineer; Simulator; Sleep; Hours of Service
ABSTRACT: In this pilot study, the effects of fatigue on the train handling performance and vigilance of four certified train service locomotive engineers was assessed while they operated the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Research and Locomotive Evaluator/Simulator (RALES). Subjects operated on an hourly cycle of 12 work-12 rest-8 work as a "normal" cycle followed by an hourly cycle of 12W-8R-8W the following week as a "fatigue cycle". Subject activity diareis, scoring of various aspects of train handling, subject exit interviews, and observer's run observation notes were collected. Core body temperature and performance on a fitness for work measure were also recorded. During the course of the experiment subjects were observed to doze or nod off. Speed limit infractions, failures to blow the horn for crossing, rapid throttle changes and excessive train forces were also observed. The sleep records of the subjects were plotted and found to be atypical in comparison with those of non-engineer persons. The controlled, low interruption rest periods of the study may have been superior to the rest normally attained by the subjects, thus accounting for the failure to show differences between the two experimental conditions. Contract: DTFR53-82-C-00254 / Task Order No. 9
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