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Visualization of Railroad Equipment Accident Causes Using Data Visualization Systems and GIS

[+] Author Affiliations
Trefor Williams

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

John Betak

Collaborative Solutions, LLC, Albuquerque, NM

Paper No. JRC2017-2239, pp. V001T06A006; 7 pages
  • 2017 Joint Rail Conference
  • 2017 Joint Rail Conference
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, April 4–7, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Rail Transportation Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5071-8
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how GIS and data visualization systems can be used to identify spatial relationships to add to our understanding of railroad accident factors. Examples are given of the spatial analysis of broken rail accidents and grade crossing accidents on GIS maps. Additionally, using the Weave data visualization system a data dashboard was constructed that shows the complex interaction between variables like track type, FRA track classification, train speed and track density with broken rail accident causes. The findings indicate that broken rail accidents occur most frequently in the Midwest. Possibly this trend is related to climate change and increased temperatures and precipitation in the United States. GIS visualizations also showed that many truck-trailer accidents at grade crossings occur in low population areas. This work indicates that GIS and data visualizations are a useful method of identifying trends in railroad accidents.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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