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Assessing Single Transport Modes' Risk Potential for Overall Risk Mitigation in Intermodal Transport Chains

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport



InterRisk deals with fault probabilities of infrastructure that are specific for intermodal transport chains. Intermodal transport chains have a higher fault risks due to the higher complexity of transport activity (at least two transport modes are used, at least one transshipment is necessary). Existing and running projects examine and analyse the risks of failure or restriction of one infrastructure in particular, mono modal. InterRisk widens this field and examines the interfaces relevant for combined transport and concentrates on the fault probabilities of different infrastructures with specific relevance for intermodal transport chains.


InterRisk gives an overview on the possible potentials of failure. First, the infrastructures that are relevant for intermodal transport chains have to be identified. A distinction is made between risks for sationary infrastructure (road-, rail-, terminal constructions etc.), the software infrastructure (signaling, telematics etc.) and failures caused by transport itself (accidents with dangerous goods, congestion etc.).

Adequate methods are developed in order to identify potential failures and to assess the risks caused by potential threats. These methods are built up in a general way and then are applied to the specified infrastructures. Interdependencies between the different infrastructures relevant for intermodal transport chains are of particular interest in the study.

With the application of the developed methods, a detailed analysis of existing natures of failures and the spatial focus of the likelihood of threats to transport infrastructures occuring in Austria is determined.

The risk of the detected potentials of failure concerning intermodal transport chains will be assessed by using the developed methods. The assessment is developed against fault liabilities distinguished by location and time.

Preventive measures to reduce transport risks and to enhance the reliability of intermodal transport (differentiated by nature of failure and failure likelihood) are developed based on this risk analysis.

Finally, a cluster analysis is done to group the potential threats depending on their specific attributes (potential height, impact dimension, dimension of preventive measures). Specific recommendations are given for each cluster.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT)
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The project provides an overview of the current situation in combined transport in terms of existing fault probabilities, their potential impact and the handling of the actors with the existing risks. Based on a detailed review of the identified faults, those faults that pose a high or very high risk for combined transport were analyzed in detail. Further possible measures to reduce the risk have been identified and analyzed in terms of their feasibility and impact.

The methodological framework was on the one hand the classical risk theory (suitably adjusted for combined transport) as well as the analysis of the conducted qualitative survey regarding current problems in combined transport from different perspectives of various actors. This analysis identifies the following faults as an increased risk for combined transport:

  • Construction sites in the rail network
  • Technical defect in the rail network
  • Damaged wagons and equipment
  • Inflow rates at off-peak time
  • Equipment and wagon shortage
  • Capacity constraints in rail track sections, in shunting and in the terminal
  • Language barriers and lack of communication

From a total of 44 identified possible measures to reduce the risk of faults listed above, the following measures are recommended based on the criteria of implementation resistance, implementation efforts, implementation and operational costs, risk reduction, increase of availability and reliability, and reduction of transport and damage costs:

  • Improving scheduling and planning
  • Intensifying control of foreign wagons / Penalize the introduction of defective wagons
  • Invariably punctual departure of all combined transport trains
  • Price variation in cargo handling
  • Adaptation of wagons and equipment material to the market conditions
  • Priority rights for combined traffic trains
  • Standards in electronic communication
  • Adaptation of employee organization

The evaluation results at a workshop with representatives of major stakeholders in combined transport as well as representatives of research institutions, which deal with the subject, were confirmed for the most part.

Findings of the study are published in a final report (German only) which is available online via the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) at:


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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