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Leading An Industry to Safer, More Secure Routes

The Rail Corridor Risk Management System (RCRMS) has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation as a “key enabling technology for the industry in accomplishing the objectives of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.”

In coordination with DOT and the rail industry, the FACTOR Project Team conceived, designed, developed, and deployed the Rail Corridor Risk Management System (RCRMS) as part of a multi-year, ongoing effort to manage hazmat transportation risks for the freight rail industry. The RCRMS is a methodology and GIS-enabled software tool that assists all Class I and more sophisticated smaller rail operators with maintaining hazardous material commodity flow information, analyzing route safety and security risks for these flows, and making critical routing decisions. The system was developed in coordination with federal regulators from PHMSA, FRA, TSA, and FEMA to support rail industry compliance with federal regulations.

The RCRMS represents the state of the art for rail route risk assessment and risk-based routing alternative analysis, incorporating the most advanced risk assessment techniques and data currently available. The RCRMS allows rail operators, as part of their route analysis (including assessment of route alternatives), to consider the 27 required risk factors, including network infrastructure characteristics, railroad operating characteristics, human factors, and environmental and terrorist-related parameters. The tool provides a mechanism for the rail operators to maintain their route analyses and document their findings and results for FRA review. The RCRMS is in full use by the freight rail industry and continues to evolve under the guidance of an industry risk management steering committee with input from federal regulators.

27 Risk Factors

The RCRMS tool allows rail operators to take into account 27 risk factors – including hazmat volume, trip length, population density along the route, local emergency response capability, track quality and signal systems, human factors and environmental and terrorist-related parameters – to assess the safety and security of rail routes.

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Who We Work With

RCRMS is a sophisticated analytical tool developed in coordination with our consulting partners, dozens of leading rail operators, the Association of American Railroads and several federal agencies, including the Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

 

The tools we applied.

GIS-based Software Development

GIS technology is a foundational element of much of the work we do at FACTOR. We design simple, intuitive user interfaces to help users solve pressing problems involving complex modeling, data requirements, and context-specific parameters without the underlying complexity getting in the way. We leverage our long-term business partnership with ESRI to provide cutting-edge solutions.

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Quantitative Risk Assessment

A formal estimation of the quantitative risks for a given set of parameters that considers the potential consequences from a hazard and likelihood that those consequences would be realized. This is contrasted with qualitative risk assessment, which uses a relative assessment of risks at a generalized level.

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Key Contributors
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