Learning from accidents: machine learning for safety at railway stations

Hamad Ali H Alawad, Sakdirat Kaewunruen, Min An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
193 Downloads (Pure)


In railway systems, station safety is a critical aspect of the overall structure, and yet, accidents at stations still occur. It is time to learn from these errors and improve conventional methods by utilising the latest technology, such as machine learning (ML), to analyse accidents and enhance safety systems. ML has been employed in many fields, including engineering systems, and it interacts with us throughout our daily lives. Thus, we must consider the available technology in general and ML in particular in the context of safety in the railway industry. This paper explores the employment of the decision tree (DT) method in safety classification and the analysis of accidents at railway stations to predict the traits of passengers affected by accidents. The critical contribution of this study is the presentation of ML and an explanation of how this technique is applied for ensuring safety, utilizing automated processes, and gaining benefits from this powerful technology. To apply and explore this method, a case study has been selected that focuses on the fatalities caused by accidents at railway stations. An analysis of some of these fatal accidents as reported by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) is performed and presented in this paper to provide a broader summary of the application of supervised ML for improving safety at railway stations. Finally, this research shows the vast potential of the innovative application of ML in safety analysis for the railway industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-648
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2019


  • Decision tree
  • Machine learning
  • Railway accidents
  • Railway safety
  • Railway station

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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