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Hazard Analysis for Commuter Rail Projects

Date: July 10, 2015

Project Name: Central Florida Commuter Rail Transit (CFCRT) Project – Phase 1

Abstract: The hazard analysis on Phase 1 of the CFCRT Project encountered a number of issues as the project moved from design through construction completion to safety certification and revenue operations.

Project Phase(s): Design, Construction through Safety Certification and Start-up

Category: Project Management, Safety and Security Management – Hazard Analysis

Background:

The Initial Operating Segment (IOS) of the CFCRT Project (also known as SunRail), or Phase 1, is a 32-mile corridor consisting of 12 stations. Phase 1 includes the purchase of seven diesel electric passenger locomotives, nine cab cars and five coaches; approximately 18-miles of additional second track being added to the existing 11-miles of double track; a new railway wayside signal and communication system; grade crossing upgrades; station platforms and canopies at all 12 stations; park-and-ride lots at seven stations; construction of a Vehicle Storage and Maintenance Facility (VSMF) and Operations Control Center (OCC); and other elements necessary to achieve project implementation. Phase 1 was progressed under the following contracts:

  • Design-Build-Maintain (DBM) – Final design and construction of the civil roadbed, mainline and yard tracks; including special track work, station platforms, VSMF, OCC, signals and train control, grade crossings and warning systems, fiber optic network and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA).
  • Station Finishes No. 1 – Canopies and station amenities for seven stations, including, lighting, public address, variable message signs, closed circuit televisions, telephones and signage; roadway access and parking areas.
  • Station Finishes No. 2 – Canopies and station amenities for five stations, including, lighting, public address, variable message signs, closed circuit televisions, telephones and signage; roadway access and parking areas.
  • Locomotive Supplier – Provided seven rebuilt diesel electric locomotives for passenger service.
  • Passenger Car Supplier – Provided nine new cab cars and five new coach cars for passenger service.
  • Fare Collection Equipment – Provide ticket vending machines, ticket validators, and appropriate system control equipment.

Two of the significant issues were the delay in preparation of and the incompleteness of the Hazard Analysis (HA). The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) relied on contractors’ providing engineering support to prepare the Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA). Staff changes and extended vacancies in safety supervisory positions resulted in both a delay in preparing and inadequately keeping the HA up to date. To address the HA concerns, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) conducted a joint audit of Phase 1 to determine FDOT’s readiness to initiate revenue operations. FTA’s Office of Transit Safety and Oversight, in conjunction with FRA and the Project Management Oversight Contractor (PMOC), performed the audit in accordance with OP-54.

The audit identified a number of serious deficiencies in the area of hazard management as documented in the PMOC’s Readiness for Revenue Operations Report. Of greatest concern were hazards related to highway and pedestrian grade crossings, station facilities, and trespassing. One example is these concerns related to grade crossing locations with inadequate roadway (automobile) storage distances. FDOT did not identify the grade crossing hazards and allow for sufficient time to implement permanent mitigations. As a result, a number of locations were required to implement temporary workarounds until permanent mitigations could be put in place.

The Lessons:

There are several lessons learned related to the HA from Phase 1 of the CFCRT Project:

  • Ensure the project’s safety staff resources are sufficient to complete the PHA and HA in a timely manner, and identify and resolve any unanticipated hazards that may be identified during the course of future project phases.
  • Complete the PHA prior to 100% design completion and incorporate all necessary mitigations into the design documents. The HA should also be updated for designs changes. This will result in avoiding temporary workarounds, as well as avoid issuing change orders during construction for mitigation work.
  • Conduct a review of the PHA and other hazard analyses during each project phase to ensure hazards are comprehensive and mitigations are tracked or implemented. Ensure mitigations are implemented into the design and construction documents.
  • The method for conducting the Operational Hazard Analysis (OHA) should be specified in the Safety and Security Management Plan (SSMP) and/or other applicable plans. The OHA should include walk-throughs, operator and control center feedback, railroad signal and signage review, and safety committee concerns.
  • Include applicable stakeholders in the HA process and associated workshops, particularly during grade crossing and trespassing evaluations. Stakeholders should include FRA (if applicable), FTA, PMOC, State Safety Oversight, freight railroad (if applicable), and local municipalities. Evaluations should begin during early design phases and be completed prior to design completion in order to prevent the issuance of change orders during construction.
  • Include applicable stakeholders in the Threat and Vulnerability Assessment (TVA) process. Stakeholders should include TSA/DHS, local city police, security contractors (if applicable), project management team, and the PMOC. Evaluations should begin during early design phases and be completed prior to design completion in order to prevent the issuance of change orders during construction.
  • The HA should include approvals from applicable oversight agencies, including FRA (on commuter rail projects), FTA, PMOC, State Safety Oversight, freight railroad (if applicable), and local municipalities. Approvals should be attained from oversight agencies prior to finalizing the analysis.

Applicability:

The lessons are applicable to Grantees with rail projects.

Contact Persons:

PMOC:
Dain Pankratz, PE
System Safety Expert
Boyd, Caton & Grant Transportation Group
943 Glenwood Station Lane, Suite 301
Charlottesville, VA 22901
(909) 560-5578

Grantee:
Tawny Olore, PE
SunRail Program Management
801 SunRail Drive
Sanford, FL 32771
(407) 732-6705

Updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2016
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