An intelligent railway safety risk assessment support system for railway operation and maintenance analysis

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The paper presents the development of an intelligent railway safety risk assessment based support system. The proposed method can evaluate qualitative and quantitative safety risk data and information in a uniform manner for railway safety risk assessment. It permits the safety risk analysts to assess the risks associated with the failure modes directly using linguistic terms, i.e. qualitative descriptors. The proposed intelligent railway safety risk assessment system is capable of assessing the risks at component level, sub-system level and system level. It can assess not only “hard” risks (e.g. risks of a system), but also “soft” risks (e.g. staff risks). The outcomes of safety risk assessment are represented in two formats, risk score and risk category with a belief of percentage, which provide very useful safety risk information to railway designers, operators, engineers and maintainers for risk response decision making. An illustrative example of staff risk assessment in a railway depot is used to demonstrate the proposed intelligent railway safety risk assessment system. The results indicate that by using the proposed system, risks associated with a railway depot can be assessed effectively and efficiently.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages17
JournalThe Open Transportation Journal
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2013


  • Railway safety, safety risk assessment, fuzzy reasoning approach, qualitative descriptor, staff safety risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas