Controls to Eliminate Broken Rails in Service

Broken rails in freight and passenger revenue service occur due to single, or combinations of, faults or failures of various kinds. These may occur due to limitations inherent in the rail defect inspection process, track maintenance and renewal practices, and may also arise due to changes in operating conditions. The Government and the industry have developed regulations, standards and procedures to control these issues and reduce broken rail occurrences. This paper presents a broken rail fault tree as a way of visualizing the problem. It describes current controls and shows how they map onto the fault tree. Examples of recent broken rail derailments are used to illustrate the fault tree. Lessons learned are used to identify areas where further tightening of controls or the imposition of new controls may be required to further reduce the number of, and potentially eliminate, broken rails in service.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Federal Railroad Administration

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

    Volpe National Transportation Systems Center

    55 Broadway
    Cambridge, MA  United States  02142
  • Authors:
    • Tunna, John
    • Jeong, David
    • Gordon, Jeff
    • Patrick, Carlo
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2016


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 9p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01610784
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: JRC2016-5705
  • Created Date: Jul 8 2016 9:41AM