Short Line Safety Institute: Safety Culture Growth Across Two Railroads

Research shows that a strong safety culture can influence a railroad’s safety outcomes, resulting in less frequent, less severe accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Safety Council defines safety culture as “the shared values, actions, and behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to safety over competing goals and demands” (Morror, S., & Coplen, M., 2017). The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recognizes the importance and function of a strong safety culture to railroad safety. Since 2014, the FRA Office of Research, Development and Technology (RD&T) has supported the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) in its efforts to establish a Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) focused on improving safety culture on short line and regional railroads. SLSI conducts voluntary, non-punitive, confidential Safety Culture Assessments (SCAs) for short line and regional railroads across the United States. SCAs provide a diagnostic appraisal of a railroad’s safety culture at a given point in time, with documented opportunities for improvement across the DOT Safety Council’s Ten Core Elements of a Strong Safety Culture, adapted for a railroad setting (Morror, S., & Coplen, M., 2017). This research summarizes findings from a case study analysis of initial and follow-up SCA reports completed for two railroads.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 3p
  • Serial:
    • Research Results
    • Issue Number: RR 20-08
    • Publisher: Federal Railroad Administration
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01741728
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: May 22 2020 3:15PM