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Using Data Visualization to Analyze Grade Crossing Accidents

[+] Author Affiliations
Trefor Williams, James Abello, David Desimone

Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

John Betak

Collaborative Solutions, LLC, Albuquerque, NM

Paper No. JRC2015-5695, pp. V001T06A008; 5 pages
  • 2015 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2015 Joint Rail Conference
  • San Jose, California, USA, March 23–26, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5645-1
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


The Federal Railroad Administration grade crossing accident database contains numerous interrelated variables. Understanding of how the variables are interrelated can be enhanced using modern visualization techniques. These techniques can allow managers from railroads and government agencies to find complex variables relationships not usually provided by routine statistical analyses. For this research we have developed several dashboards of linked visualizations using the Weave data visualization software [5]. Our visualizations explore various accident types of concern to the railroad industry including trespassing and pedestrian accidents, passenger train accidents, actions of highway users involved in accidents, and the effect of different types of warning devices on grade crossing accidents. In addition, we are currently developing an advanced visualization system that views the accident data as time varying events occurring over a fixed grade crossings topology. This view allows the application of a recent network data abstraction termed “Graph Cards.” We present initial examples of the advanced system that provides a variety of filtering mechanisms to view statistical distributions and their time varying behavior over the grade crossings topology.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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