Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Problems. Topic SA-33. Critical Incident Management and Clearance Practices for Rail Transit

Rail transit operations are subject to incidents and accidents that may involve fatalities and result in major service disruptions. Incident response protocols within the local jurisdictions require trains to be held for the duration of law enforcement activities. In the event of rail fatalities, bodies might not be moved until the arrival of the coroner, which may result in long delays for passengers on the affected train and other traffic passing through the area due to blocked tracks, junctions, and grade crossings. Furthermore, passengers may be confined to remain on the train for hours until the train is released by law enforcement personnel. Despite the impact these incidents have on operations, rail passengers and the public at large, little research exists to document these delays and to offer guidance on efficient incidence response strategies. Unlike highway operations, little options exist for rail. A synthesis is needed to provide information on successful practices for incidence response within the commuter rail, light rail, and rapid transit transportation industry. This synthesis will document, but not be limited to the following: (1) Incident response coordination among multiple jurisdictions and stakeholders; (2) Minimizing impacts on affected passengers and facilitating assistance and timely communications; (3) Limiting service disruption to traffic on adjacent tracks in multiple-track territory; (4) Issues unique to electrified territory; (5) Issues and methods to ensure the safety of the non-railroad/non-transit personnel who need to access the right-of-way as part of incident clean-up; (6) Procedures to accelerate the clean-up operation and allow a train to remain in service; (7) Procedures to handle accident evidence/data collection. This synthesis will explore these issues and document successful practice. A literature review, survey of selected transit agencies and/or other stakeholders, and detailed case examples/profiles will be accomplished to report on the state-of-practice, including innovations, lessons learned, challenges, and gaps in information.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $40000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-07, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Vlasak, Donna

  • Performing Organizations:

    Dan Boyle & Associates, Incorporated

  • Principal Investigators:

    Boyle, Dan

  • Start Date: 20141217
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 38309

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01548182
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-07, Topic
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 18 2014 1:00AM