Development and Pilot Testing of Crew Resource Management Training Program for Railroad Industry

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - safety/accidents, organisation - management, mode - rail


Training programs, Training, Train crews, Teams, Railways, Railroads, Railroad safety, Personnel training, Crew resource management, Communication, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway, BNSF Railway


Between 2001 and 2005, a research team at the Texas Transportation Institute worked with FRA and the BNSF Railway (formerly the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway) to develop a training course in improved crew resource management (CRM) for use in the U.S. rail industry. Initial tasks included site visits to a cross section of railroad types in various U.S. locations, identification of railroad team makeup and tasks, and classification of railroad teams. Subsequent tasks included the design and pilot implementation of a CRM training course at various locations on the BNSF Railway. The course was designed to be used for training a variety of railroad crafts in technical proficiency, situational awareness, communications, teamwork, and assertiveness. There were 186 railroad workers trained during the pilot testing program, with positive employee response to the course materials and content.