Impact of Rail Trespasser Fatalities & Suicide on Mental Health and Safety Culture of Rail Transportation Workers

Trespasser fatalities and railroad suicide are significant concerns of the rail industry and the Federal Railroad Administration. Approximately 289 individuals commit suicide each year on the U.S. rail system accounting for almost one third of the fatalities related to railroad operations in the U.S. Railroad carriers alone cannot solve this tragic loss of life. The proposed project will assess the impact of exposure to trespasser fatalities and suicide on the mental health, safety and perceived safety culture of railroad workers and related first responders, law enforcement, and others. Several measures designed to assess compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, awareness of common myths associated with suicide and corporate safety culture will be administered to a sample of railroad workers and other key first line responders who will be attending railroad safety briefings and a rail suicide awareness program. The proposed research is expected to benefit railroad employees and related personnel by documenting the impact of railroad trespasser suicide and fatalities on perceived safety culture and lead to creating a checklist for identifying the effects associated with these events. The project will also promote awareness of effects and possible prevention techniques for responding to these events.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $583630
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108
  • Project Managers:

    Tolliver, Denver

  • Performing Organizations:

    National Center for Intermodal Transportation

    University of Denver
    Denver, CO  United States  80208
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sherry, Patrick

    Pusavat, Andi

  • Start Date: 20220525
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-691

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01848624
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747108
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 15 2022 3:42PM