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Railway Safety Research – A Cross-Disciplinary Literature Review

  • Railway safety is a topic which gains the public attention only if major railway accidents happen. This is because railway is considered as a safe mode of travel by the public. However, to ensure the safety of the railway system railway companies as well as universities conduct a broad spectrum of research. An overview of this research has not yet been provided in the scholarly literature. Therefore, this thesis follows two objectives. First an overview and ranking of railway safety research universities should be provided. Second, based on these universities, it should be identified which are the most relevant and influential research topics. The ranking is based on the research method “literature review” which forms the methodical basis for this thesis. To evaluate the universities based on a measurable and objective criterion, the number of citations of the researchers from each university is gathered. As a result, the University of Leuven for the civil engineering, Milan Politechnico for mechanical enginering and the University of Loughborough for electrical engineering are identified as the leading university in their field of railway safety research. The top universities for each discipline are distributed all over Europe, North America and Asia. However, a clear focus on the US and British universities is observed. For identification of the most relevant and influential topics the keywords from the publications which are considered in the ranking procedure are analyzed. Focus areas among these keywords are revealed by calculating the count of each keyword. High-speed trains as well as maintenance are recognized as the highly relevant topics in both civil and mechanical engineering. Furthermore, the topic of railway dynamics for mechanical engineering and noise and vibration for civil engineering are identified as the leading topics in the respective discipline. Achieving both research goals required exploratory approaches. Therefore, this thesis leaves open space for future research to deepen the individual topics which are approached in each section. A validation of the results through experts interviews as well as a deepening of the analysis through increasing the number of analyzed universities as well as applying statistical methods is recommended.
Author:André Schneider
Series (Volume no.):Arbeitsberichte des Competence Center for the Assessment of Railway Diagnostic and Monitoring Technologies (CCRDMT) (17-002)
Place of publication:Koblenz
Editor:Harald F. O. von Korflesch, Mathias Linden
Document Type:Part of Periodical
Date of completion:2020/06/04
Date of publication:2020/06/08
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz, Universitätsbibliothek
Corporative Author:Competence Center for the Assessment of Railway Diagnostic and Monitoring Technologies
Release Date:2020/06/08
Tag:Railway Research; Railway Research Topics; Railway Safety; Railway Safety Research
Volume (for the year ...):2017
Issue / no.:17-002
Number of pages:x, 95
Institutes:Fachbereich 4 / Institut für Management
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG