University of Twente Student Theses


Optimising the safety of crossing railroads to aim for a safer rail net

Vaatstra, H.S.J. (2022) Optimising the safety of crossing railroads to aim for a safer rail net.

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Abstract:This research has been conducted on behalf of ProRail, the only railway company in the Netherlands. It is responsible for maintaining, renewing, expanding, and securing the railway. The number one priority of ProRail is safety; therefore, they are always trying to optimise this. At this moment, ProRail is not satisfied with the number of incidents and wants to decrease this number. According to ProRail, especially on and around railroad crossings, many incidents happen. Currently, around a quarter of the primary-, secondary- and almost incidents are railroad crossing-related incidents. These incidents are partly caused by the nonexistence of a report/tool showing factors influencing safety on and around railroad crossings. Since this is not available, creating a report on these possible factors with an additional visualisation tool will be focused on within this thesis. Research questions have been made to solve this problem. The Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM) has been used to create these research questions. Therefore, first, the problem of this research has been identified. After this, the objective for a solution was given: a dashboard and a report on railroad crossing incidents. Then the actual design and development of this dashboard and report are started. Several phases have been followed to create this dashboard and write the report. For every phase, an extensive literature study has been conducted that provides a theoretical framework. The first phase was gathering data from several databases and registers. This data has been cleansed using functions from Microsoft Excel and coding from Microsoft VBA. By using this data, and with some additional conducted semi-structured interviews with employees from the Competence Centre Business Application (CCBA) and from the Safety department, key metrics and metrics were determined. Within Power BI, these measures are visualised in an interactive dashboard. Besides that, additional statistical analyses are conducted to find a correlation between key metrics. The dashboard has shown that when it is dark, percentage-wise, more incidents happen than when it is light. Besides that, it has been shown that there happen a lot of incidents at railroad crossings that have Andreas crosses when comparing it to the number of railroad crossings that have such a security type. Further, it has been shown that when the line speed of railroad crossings is higher, percentage-wise, more primary incidents happen than secondary- or almost-incidents. Lastly, the statistical analysis has shown a moderate correlation between the type of security and the category of incidents. It is recommended to ProRail keep an eye on railroad crossings that have these characteristics. Besides that, interesting possible further research has been elaborated.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:50 technical science in general
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management BSc (56994)
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