On May 31, 2012, TRB’s Committee for Review of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Research, Development, and Demonstration Programs sent a letter report to Joseph Szabo, Administrator of FRA. The committee was established to review and to assess the effectiveness and impacts of FRA's research and development (R&D) program. The report is the latest in a series of TRB committee reviews of the program that began in 1998.
The committee found a strong institutional commitment to continuous improvement in the management of the FRA R&D program, demonstrated by a new organization of the program around major risk categories (trespassing, grade crossing collisions, other collisions, derailments, and all others) and development of a risk model that is key to setting R&D priorities.
The report includes recommendations for focusing future resources on projects with the largest safety benefit, development and reporting of program performance indicators, and more complete evaluations and reporting of project outcomes.
The report also suggests future directions for R&D that include continuing work on performance-based standards, research to aid the deployment of new signaling and train control technologies, and research on operation of shared-use corridors for intercity passenger and freight service.
This Summary Last Modified On: 7/27/2012