USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Site Notification

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Short Line Safety Institute: Measuring Safety Culture Growth Across Four Railroads

Document Series
Research Results
Author
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
RR 21-16
Office
RPD-34
Subject Safety Culture
Keywords
Safety culture, safety culture model, safety culture assessment, safety culture measurement, evaluation, short line railroads, regional railroads

Research shows that a strong safety culture can influence a railroad’s safety outcomes, resulting in less frequent, less severe accidents. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Safety Council defines safety culture as “the shared values, actions, and behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to safety over competing goals and demands” (Morrow, S., & Coplen, M., 2017). Since 2014, the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Research, Development and Technology has supported the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association in its efforts to establish a Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI) focused on improving safety culture on short line and regional railroads. SLSI conducts voluntary, non-punitive, confidential Safety Culture Assessments (SCAs) for short line and regional railroads across the United States. SCAs provide a diagnostic appraisal of a railroad’s safety culture at a given point in time, with documented Opportunities for Improvement.

This research summarizes findings from a case study analysis conducted in 2021 of initial and follow-up SCA reports completed for four railroads.


Last updated: Monday, September 13, 2021