The purpose of this project was to serve as a technology transfer for RP2020-44 The Comprehensive Cost of Rail Incidents in North Carolina. As such the research team worked to execute three primary tasks: (1) disseminating the tool at high-profile venues, (2) implementing social media and targeted safety campaigns, and (3) receiving feedback and updating the cost tool.
To implement these tasks the research team was successfully accepted to five well established conference venues (pending approval on a sixth) where feedback was solicited to improve the cost tool. Additionally, the research team conducted two social media campaigns that reached 266,658 unique viewers and resulted in more than 643,000 views on screen. These efforts helped solidify the importance of rail safety and helped connect a wide audience to NCDOT’s cost tool, which demonstrates the full spectrum of costs that result from rail incidents on our network.
The tool can evaluate costs stemming from property damage, injuries and fatalities, delay, rerouting, and supply chain events, as well as emergency responder costs. It can ultimately be used to illuminate the economic and social impacts resulting from rail incidents and show help generate support for countermeasures and expanded safety training.
The deliverables produced as part of this technology transfer include: (1) a final presentation summarizing the research team’s efforts, (2) a supplementary presentation and write-up summarizing the outcomes of the social media campaigns, (3) the updated version of the cost tool.
This effort was made possible by the sponsorship and collaboration of NCDOT. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the agency for commissioning the production of the rail safety campaigns, the cost tool updates, and investing in opportunities to bring a broad awareness of the comprehensive cost of rail incidents in North Carolina.