Relative Risk of Workload Transitions in Positive Train Control

This work proceeded along two parallel paths. First, the research team performed a review and analysis of the fundamental human factors and systems performance issues associated with workload and workmode transitions involving technologies like positive train control (PTC) that can lead to safety and operational problems. These include concerns associated with over-reliance, fixation, skill loss, and shifts in authority between components in the system. Second, the team has examined proposed PTC systems and their intended roles in rail operations to provide an analysis of the risks of the different transitions as they relate to the use of PTC systems in railroading. The opportunities for the high risk failures is greater with PTC systems that provide only an overlay safety function, and are virtually out of sight during normal operations, because the primary risks are associated with the reduction of people’s awareness of the system operating state. People tend to rely on protection equipment that is normally functioning and forget when it is inoperative.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    WreathWood Group

    4157 McDuff Way
    Dublin, OH  United States  43016

    Ohio State University, Columbus

    Department of Systems Engineering
    Columbus, OH  United States  43210

    ICF Consulting

    33 Hayden Avenue
    Lexington, MA  United States  02421

    ENSCO, Incorporated

    5400 Port Royal Road
    Springfield, VA  United States  22151

    Federal Railroad Administration

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    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Wreathall, John
    • Woods, David D
    • Bing, Alan J
    • Christoffersen, Klaus
  • Publication Date: 2007-3-31


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 62p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01055655
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FRA/ORD-07/12, DOT/FRA/ORD-XX/XX
  • Contract Numbers: DTFR53-00-D-00030 TOPR 012
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 15 2007 3:59PM