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Title:Quantitative analysis of options to reduce risk of hazardous materials transportation by railroad
Author(s):Kawprasert, Athaphon
Director of Research:Barkan, Christopher P.L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Barkan, Christopher P.L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Önal, Hayri; Ouyang, Yanfeng; Treichel, Todd T.; Saat, M. Rapik
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Hazardous Materials
Rail Transportation
Risk Analysis
Abstract:The risk associated with railroad transportation of hazardous materials is an ongoing subject of interest to the transportation industries, the government, and the public. A variety of approaches have been considered or adopted to manage and reduce risk. These include improving operating practices and personnel training, improving transportation packaging, maintaining and upgrading infrastructure, and rerouting hazardous materials traffic. Certain risk reduction options have received particular attention in recent years. Realizing the interest and the need for research in this area, this study focuses on consideration of routing, track infrastructure improvement and speed management as approaches to reducing the risk from railroad hazardous materials transportation. For each approach, potential benefits in terms of risk reduction are analyzed using operations research (OR) and quantitative risk assessment (QRA) methods. The goal is to facilitate the consideration of each approach and evaluate its potential application for a particular objective of interest. Furthermore, this study considers improvement of several parameters in the risk model to enhance the quality of risk estimates and to better understand their sensitivity to various assumptions. When resources are limited so that a complete analysis of the entire routes is not possible, statistical methods for route risk comparison are introduced to help decision makers choose the most appropriate route, thereby providing further confidence in an evaluation of routing alternatives or risk reduction options. Route risk analysis is often complex and generates results that can be difficult to interpret. The results from quantitative risk assessment are not very helpful if critical information is not properly interpreted and effectively conveyed to the concerned parties. This is one of the most important issues in risk analysis but has received relatively less attention. This study illustrates several new techniques to present, interpret, and communicate risk results more effectively. Overall, this study aims to develop information on the potential and effectiveness of different risk reduction approaches to facilitate the consideration of the most appropriate option according to the objective of interest of different parties in the railroad hazardous materials transportation supply chain. Part of the findings will help clarify the mutual roles of these parties, including carriers, shippers, and municipalities, and help them develop and implement the most appropriate and effective risk management, reduction, and mitigation options accordingly. Furthermore, the information provided may be useful for regulators and researchers who might be interested in the subjects presented in this dissertation.
Issue Date:2011-01-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Athaphon Kawprasert
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-01-14
Date Deposited:2010-12

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