Evaluation of Rail Trespass Detection System
According to the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of
Safety Analysis, approximately 70 percent of all railroad-related deaths in the
United States, are the result of trespassing and suicide (FRA, 2017). In the
European Union (EU), the comparable number is 89 percent (ERA, 2016). At present, there is extensive knowledge
concerning how to detect intruders in terms of general security sensitive installations,
such as utility plants, banks, etc.
However, little knowledge has been gained in learning how to detect
intruders specific to rail operations.
In addition, there is little systematic information available to
railroads on the extent of the trespassing problem and the actions of
Describe and estimate costs and effectiveness of
different trespass detection technologies.
These technologies can have any, or all, of the following
technologies that detect trespass and provide an
instantaneous warning to the trespasser,
technologies that detect trespass and provide real-time
information to the railroad and/or law enforcement to determine a response, and
technologies that detect and record trespass activities
to provide information to inform future engineering, education or enforcement
The research should evaluate both the physical hardware
for detecting and recording trespass, and software and/or machine learning that
can analyze data collected and provide information for responders and decision
Research should consider both traditional detection systems
(fixed cameras, motion detectors), use of emerging technologies (such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones), forward-facing cameras
on locomotives, Strava fitness mapping data.), and innovative new technologies.
The systems might be simple detection systems,
but they may also provide more detailed information to inform policy and short
and medium -run responses. This
information may include, but is not limited to, time and location of trespass,
characterizing the demographics of the trespasser, and the actions and conduct
of the trespasser while on railroad property.
This research can avoid rail related fatalities by either:
identifying effective means to detect and warning people
they are in a dangerous location and in immediate harm, or
provide information on the extent, location and nature of
trespass to inform decision makers on engineering, education and/or enforcement
actions that might be undertaken, and ultimately to provide information to
evaluate any initiatives.
There is a limited amount of existing research available
examining systems to detect people trespassing on rail rights-of-way. However, there is extensive literature and
existing research available about detecting trespassers and intruders in other
applications, such as defense, public utilities, etc. Many industries operate facilities that need
to be protected from intrusion so there is an entire industry devoted to
intruder detection. Finding and
evaluating existing commercial off the shelf security technology and deploying
same to rail right-of-way applications is the principal objective.
Catalano, A., Bruno, F. A., Pisco, M., Cutolo, A., &
Cusano, A. (2014). An intrusion detection system for the protection of railway
assets using Fiber Bragg Grating sensors. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 14(10),
Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of
Transportation, Washington, DC. (2012).
Railroad Infrastructure Trespassing Detection Systems Research in Pittsford ,
New York, (November).
Havârneanu, G. M., Burkhardt, J.-M. M., & Paran, F. F.
(2015). A systematic review of the literature on safety measures to prevent
railway suicides and trespassing accidents. Accident Analysis and Prevention,
Mishara, B. L., & Bardon, C. (2016). Systematic review
of research on railway and urban transit system suicides. Journal of Affective
Disorders, 193, 215–226.
RESTRAIL (REduction of Suicides and Trespasses
on RAILway property), International Union of Railways, Paris, France, RESTRAIL
Toolbox, http://restrail.eu/toolbox/, 2018.
The researcher should provide for each of the
Basic engineering description of the necessary hardware,
Indication of whether the hardware is currently
available, is in development, or is prospective
Indication of whether the system provides an automated
warning to the trespasser, provides real time information to a monitoring
center, or provides delayed information to inform future decisions.
Discussion of any real-time monitoring costs, and
discussion of dispatching of responders.
Discussion of current or prospective software necessary
to interpret and collate data collected and to make it available in a practical
way to assist decision makers.
Consideration of the types of information and reports
that would be useful for decision makers.
Discussion of costs of hardware, software, maintenance
Some of the proposed systems may be ready for immediate
trial using off-the-shelf technology.
The proposer should show that there would be clear benefits relative to
costs for railroads. Implementation may
also require a joint and cooperative action between railroads or transit
agencies with local municipalities and local police departments.
Other systems may be in the development stages, and the
researchers can map out a process by which rail stakeholders can be involved in
the development of these technologies for future potential use.
|Sponsoring Committee:||AR080, Highway/Rail Grade Crossings
|Research Period:||12 - 24 months|
|RNS Developer:||Ian Savage, Jeff Warner, Steve Laffey, Greg Orrell|
|Index Terms:||Grade crossing protection systems, Railroad grade crossings, Trespassers, Railroad safety, Suicide, |
Safety and Human Factors
Security and Emergencies