The coordination between train traffic controllers and train drivers: a distributed cognition perspective on railway
Although there has long been a call for a holistic systems perspective to better understand real work in the complex domain of railway traffic, prior research has not strongly emphasised the socio-technical perspective. In operational railway traffic, the successful planning and execution of the traffic are the product of the socio-technical system comprised by both train drivers and traffic controllers. This paper presents a study inspired by cognitive ethnography with the aim to characterise the coordinating activities that are conducted by train traffic controllers and train drivers in the work practices of the socio-technical system of Swedish railway. The theoretical framework of distributed cognition (DCog) is used as a conceptual and analytical tool to make sense of the complex railway domain and the best practices as they are developed and performed “in the wild”. The analysis reveals a pattern of collaboration and coordination of actions among the workers and we introduce the concept of enacted actionable practices as a key concern for understanding how a successfully executed railway traffic emerges as a property of the socio-technical system. The implications for future railway research are briefly discussed.
- Record URL:
- Find a library where document is available. Order URL: http://worldcat.org/issn/14355558
- © 2018 Rebecca Andreasson et al. The contents of this paper reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Transportation Research Board or the National Academy of Sciences.
- Publication Date: 2019-8
- Media Type: Digital/other
- Features: Figures; Photos; References;
- Pagination: pp 417-443
- TRT Terms: Cognition; Cooperation; Coordination; Dispatchers; Human factors; Locomotive engineers; Railroad traffic control; Train operations
- Subject Areas: Railroads; Safety and Human Factors; Vehicles and Equipment;
- Accession Number: 01720011
- Record Type: Publication
- Files: TRIS
- Created Date: Aug 1 2019 3:11PM