• Rail Corridor Trespass Severity Assessment

    NCDOT Research Project Number: 2017-15

 Executive Summary

  • The research documented in this report includes the testing and deployment of a static thermal detection system for capturing railroad trespassing events at hot spot locations along the Piedmont corridor from Raleigh to Charlotte, NC and initial piloting of a dynamic thermal detection system. The preliminary results from the event-based data collected at the Elon, Greensboro, Mebane, Durham, and Salisbury sites indicate that 1) the magnitude of trespassing at hot spots along the corridor is much greater than indicated by FRA incident reporting and Amtrak train crew surveys, 2) the majority of trespassing events are short in duration and involve crossing the tracks rather than movement along the right-of-way, 3) variability in time-of-day/day-of week/month-of-year patterns appear to be influenced by local environmental and population factors and 4) the profile of the average trespasser represented in the event-based data may not be consistent with the profile as defined with FRA incident data, particularly when analyzed at the local level rather than as a regional or state level aggregate. Additional analysis of the event-based data including model development will be provided in a later report. Further testing of the dynamic thermal detection system is ongoing and will be completed in a separate effort.


Christopher Cunningham
Christopher Cunningham; Sarah E. Searcy
Jahmal Pullen
John W. Kirby
NC State University - ITRE

 Report Period

  • August 1, 2016 - July 31, 2018


  • Complete


  • Planning, Policy, Programming and Multi-modal

 Sub Category

  • Passenger Rail

 Related Links

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