Visualization of railroad equipment accident causes using data visualization systems and GIS

Trefor Williams, John Betak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how GIS and data visualization systems can be used to identify spatial relationships to add to our understanding of railroad accident factors. Examples are given of the spatial analysis of broken rail accidents and grade crossing accidents on GIS maps. Additionally, using the Weave data visualization system a data dashboard was constructed that shows the complex interaction between variables like track type, FRA track classification, train speed and track density with broken rail accident causes. The findings indicate that broken rail accidents occur most frequently in the Midwest. Possibly this trend is related to climate change and increased temperatures and precipitation in the United States. GIS visualizations also showed that many truck-trailer accidents at grade crossings occur in low population areas. This work indicates that GIS and data visualizations are a useful method of identifying trends in railroad accidents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 Joint Rail Conference, JRC 2017
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)9780791850718
StatePublished - 2017
Event2017 Joint Rail Conference, JRC 2017 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: Apr 4 2017Apr 7 2017

Publication series

Name2017 Joint Rail Conference, JRC 2017


Other2017 Joint Rail Conference, JRC 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Automotive Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Visualization of railroad equipment accident causes using data visualization systems and GIS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this