In the wider context of EC transport policy, progress towards a modernised European railway system is essential to allow railways to play a more important role in passenger and freight transport. Increased interoperability in cross-border rail operations is vital and therefore new human factors problems and associated risks will arise. These need to be addressed, taking into account different conditions in terms of technical systems, rules, organisations and procedures, as well as cultural or language-related national characteristics.
HUSARE aimed to establish a common method for evaluating and improving human management to increase safety and reliability for European cross-border railway lines. A risk-based approach was adopted to ensure that the effort associated with the standardisation of rules and procedures is directed at those aspects of railway operations, which are most critical in terms of the risks that can arise if human errors occur.
The main objectives of HUSARE were to:
- select scenarios relating to cross-border operations, using hazard and risk analyses;
- perform a survey and then develop a framework and toolset for the analysis of human aspects of railway operations, taking into consideration the balance between safety systems and increased traffic;
- analyse existing rules and procedures of different countries for cross-border operations and identify contradictory and inadequate rules and procedures as well as their associated risks;
- propose modifications and harmonisation of rules and procedures to minimise risks and to maximise reliability of train operations;
- define tools and techniques for general risk analyses of cross-border operations with particular reference to future technical changes in railway operations.
HUSARE has produced:
- selected human factor analysis techniques which were applied to eight test scenarios comprising of hazards related to cross-border rail operations under typical, degraded and emergency situations;
- a practical toolkit of techniques for railroad operators including the following main features:
- data collection, comparison techniques and documentation forms for rules, procedures and operational practices, in order to identify differences in rail infrastructures and connected human factors issues;
- human factor analysis techniques, to identify possible human errors, available failure recovery measures and risk reduction strategies;
- suggestions for possible generic risk reduction measures, based on the analysis of the specific test scenarios.
The main output of the study was the practical toolkit for the management of human factors related risks in cross-border rail operations. Responsibility for the use of this toolkit lies with the European railway companies who need to ensure safe operations. HUSARE recommended dedicated (policy) measures to promote the implementation of the toolkit and to foster its introduction as a common European rail standard.
The market analysis and evaluation of the product and service opportunities emerging from the project have shown promising results in terms of potential market for both the SCOOT- and STU-based UTC systems. The availability of powerful but cheap personal computers is expected to facilitate the use of the predictor tool. Further research should be carried out into the effective exploitation of distributed computing, to speed up the simulation further, in realistic road networks. Future projects should aim at integrating the distributed executions with more user-friendly graphical and animation interfaces, and the simulation technology with the technology of real-time UTC systems.