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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

DOT DIGEST: FRA Announces $50,000 grant for the Study of Traumatic Stress in Train Crews ; FRA Requires State Action Plans for 10 States with the Most Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Collisions

Document Series
Press Releases
Press Release Number
DOT 131-10
Contact Name
Marquese Lewis, 202-493-6024)
Traumatic Stress, study, crossing, collision

Friday, July 2, 2010 Washington, DC


News Digest

FRA Begins New Research Project on the Impact of Traumatic Stress on Train Crews. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) invites qualified researchers to apply for $50,000 in grant funding to initiate a study of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Acute Distress Disorder (ASD), conditions which are frequently suffered by train crews after being involved in collisions at highway-rail grade crossings or trespass incidents involving pedestrians, the two leading causes of fatalities in the railroad industry. Given the size and weight of trains, crews are often unable to stop their trains fast enough to avert these types of incidents, which can lead to psychological trauma for those involved. The selected individual or entity will be required to develop a baseline intervention plan for reducing the effects of traumatic exposure experienced by train crews, and one or more program designs suitable for implementation by rail carriers in partnership with their respective unions and others. Additional funding may be available in future years for expansion of the project. The Notice of Funding Availability is available at: (Media Contact: Marquese Lewis, 202-493-6024)


Ten states with the most highway-rail grade crossing collisions will be required to develop action plans to reduce the number of accidents. A Final Rule issued by the Federal Railroad Administration requires Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Ohio, and Texas to identify specific solutions for improving safety at crossings, including highway-rail grade crossing closures or grade separations, and must focus on crossings that have experienced multiple accidents or are at high risk for such accidents. This rulemaking is required under the Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008. Nationwide, there were 2,772 highway-rail crossing accidents in 2007, 2,409 in 2008, and 1,896 in 2009 resulting in a total of 873 fatalities. Additional data on highway-rail grade crossing incidents is available at: . The Final Rule is available at: (Media Contact: Rob Kulat, 202-493-6024)


Last updated: Friday, July 2, 2010
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