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The Importance of Preparedness for Emergency Response to Railway Incidents

[+] Author Affiliations
John Cockle

Parsons Corporation, San Francisco, CA

Larry Day

Federal Railroad Administration, Ontario, CA

Paper No. JRC2017-2292, pp. V001T06A014; 6 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


Public transportation provides opportunities for people to share a common platform or mode of transportation as they move from place to place, often amassing persons in large groups or quantities. Rail transportation in particular has the benefit of accommodating very large numbers of people in one movement, often upwards of 1000 persons. The benefits to society are considerable: shared resources, lower impacts on the environment, and more efficient use of time and energy. The consequence when something goes wrong, however, can also be considerable: mass casualties (fatalities and/or injuries) from a single event, disrupted supply chains, and environmental damages to name a few. Even if persons are not physically harmed, the effects of an incident can be felt by a far greater number of persons. Adequate preparation can play a key role in minimizing the effects of mass casualty events such as railway collisions or derailments. Indeed, lives can be saved or lost depending on the resources, training, and organization that are employed when responding to a mass casualty incident.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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