Transit Rail Incident Investigation

This course provides participants with the knowledge and skills to successfully investigate various types of transit incidents and comply with the requirements of State Safety Oversight Rule 40 CFR Part 659. This will be achieved utilizing the systems approach to incident investigation used by the National Transportation Safety Board. Examples are drawn from light rail, commuter rail, and heavy rail operations. The course will assist participants to better understand how the investigation process shall be used to prevent rail transit incidents and allow for successful implementation of corrective actions plans.

  • Prerequisite: Not Listed
  • Training Duration: 40 hours over 4.5 days
  • Training Resources: Pretest, case studies, homework, group presentations, final exam


Transportation Safety Institute

Transit Type


Target Audience

State Safety Oversight Representatives, SSPP Implementers, Rail Accident Investigators, Safety Managers, SSPP Managers, Rail Accident Analyzers, Risk Managers, Safety Supervisors, Operations Managers, Inspectors and Auditors, Design Engineers, Operations Supervisors, Transit Emergency Responders, Maintenance Inspectors, Federal, State, and Local Officials.

Learning Objectives

  • Rail system elements overview (including track, signals, power, communications and supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and rail vehicles)
  • Systems approach to incident investigation, types of investigations, purpose of investigations
  • Implementing the investigation, investigation tools, managing and organizing the investigation, evidence collection
  • Collecting incident information on-site and off-site
  • Recommendations, types of incidents, identification, evaluation, follow-up
  • Photography, planning, and techniques
  • Interview techniques, identification and arrangement, factors that affect witness statements, interview questions
  • Human factors, behavior, health and medical, training, job and task evaluation, equipment design/ergonomics, environment, internal/external records and documentation
  • Report writing, purpose and use of accident reports, report outline, preparation of draft and final reports
  • Collision investigations, types of rail operations, types of collisions
  • Derailment investigations, examples of derailments, derailment causes (track, track structure, rail defects, vehicles, lateral to vertical ratio), determining the original point of derailment, on-site investigation, off-site investigation
  • Grade crossing collision investigation
  • Train handling

Assessment of Learner Performance

Final exam

Delivery Method

Instructor-led Training

Point of Contact

Jamie McAlvain



Restrictions for Use

Not Listed



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