Technical Reports

An Investigation of Passing Stop Signals at a Passenger Railroad

  • 06
  • Jul
  • 2015
AUTHOR: Federal Railroad Administration
OFFICE: RPD
SUBOFFICE: RPD-34
REPORT NUMBER: DOT/FRA/ORD-15/25
SUBJECT: Human Factors, Passenger Rail
KEYWORDS: Passing a Stop Signal; PASS; Stop Signal Violation; SSV; Signal Passed at Danger; SPAD; Passenger Rail; Human Factors
ABSTRACT: This report documents the findings and recommendations from an investigation into stop signal violations at an American passenger railroad. The investigation was requested by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the passenger railroad, and sponsored by FRA’s Office of Research & Development (ORD). This investigation assisted the passenger railroad in understanding why stop signal violations occurred in the terminal and helped it develop effective corrective actions to prevent or mitigate their occurrence in the future. In addition to making recommendations for the railroad, this report discusses opportunities for the FRA to improve the risk management of passing a stop signal (PASS) across railroads. These improvements include recommending more systematic collection and analysis of PASS data; changing FRA compliance and enforcement practices to encourage more open and complete reporting of PASS incidents; and performing additional field and simulator-based research to strengthen the empirical foundation for linking systemic factors to PASS.

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