To enhance safety and improve railroad operations, the Federal Railroad Administration has awarded Alion Science and Technology a contract with a ceiling of $10 million to conduct research that gauges human performance in rail operations and maintenance. The global engineering, R&D, IT and operational solutions company will provide technical expertise to FRA's Human Factors Research Division, which aims to reduce human factors that cause train, trespasser and grade crossing accidents.
Under the five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract, Alion will assess equipment and technology, organizational culture and behavior, policies and system performance, then provide technical assistance and recommendations to continue the FRA’s record of accident reduction. The division has already reduced human factor-related accidents by more than 50 percent since 2005.
“With all the technology onboard current passenger and freight trains, as well as at control centers, people still play a critical role in preventing accidents,” said Terri Spoonhour, Alion senior vice president and manager of the Distributed Simulation Group. “People can get distracted or need to make quick decisions based on the unexpected, from weather to track conditions to trespassers or cars approaching crossings. Alion’s expertise in human-systems interaction will help us determine where improvements can be made, both in technology and in employee training and performance.”
The multiple-award contract runs until May 14, 2017.