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Title:Identification of Fatigue Countermeasures for the Short Line Railroad Industry Phase I & II
Authors:Patrick Sherry
University:University of Denver
Publication Date:Sep 2018
Report #:MPC-18-367
Project #:MPC-409
TRID #:01710728
Keywords:countermeasures, fatigue (physiological condition), hours of labor, railroad safety, risk analysis, short line railroads, sleep, train crews
Type:Research Report – MPC Publications


The purpose of the initial project was to establish a baseline for the evaluation of proposed fatigue mitigation efforts, to demonstrate the utilization of measures of sleep and fatigue, and to gather initial data for comparison to other previous studies. Results demonstrated that there was enough data to establish a baseline and to evaluate existing work schedules using the fatigue models approved by the FRA. Using the FRA approved modeling tool, a representative sample of work schedules were analyzed for likelihood of risk for fatigue related accidents using FRA recommended fatigue models. The results indicate that typical day time schedules have the least risk of fatigue. Standard night shifts working from 11 pm to 6 am had the greatest risk of fatigue. More importantly, by modifying the work schedules such that strategic naps were included in the work schedule on a regular basis, the models indicate that there is a significant reduction in fatigue risk that falls below or closely approximates the goal of ensuring that the work schedule does not "exceed the fatigue threshold more than 20 percent of the work time" recommended by FRA.

How to Cite

Sherry, Patrick. Identification of Fatigue Countermeasures for the Short Line Railroad Industry Phase I & II, MPC-18-367. North Dakota State University - Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, Fargo: Mountain-Plains Consortium, 2018.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050