Fatigue in the Indonesian rail industry: A study examining passenger train drivers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - asia, ridership - drivers, ridership - behaviour, planning - safety/accidents, planning - methods


Fatigue, Sleepiness, Train drivers, Video recordings


Objective: The railway industry in Indonesia has grown substantially in the past five years, with greater network and tracks length that will double in 2030. There has been a growing concern, however, that fatigue among front-line personnel have not been addressed satisfactorily. This study aimed at evaluating the degree of fatigue among passenger train drivers and suggested practical recommendations to the Indonesian Railway Company.

Method: A total of 32 train drivers (driving for about 4 h during the morning or afternoon shifts) agreed to participate in the study. Subjective and objective measures of fatigue (and sleepiness) were obtained prior to, during, and immediately following the end of a duty. Fatigue and driving performance were also determined based on (off-line) analysis of continuous video recordings of the drivers performing the duty.

Results: Fatigue generally increased as a function of time and, for some, 2 h of driving was sufficient in inducing substantial level of fatigue increase. Unlike the morning shift, the afternoon shift was characterized with increased undue fatigue and unacceptable level of performance decrements.

Conclusion: In general, fatigue was not found among train drivers working the morning shift. For these drivers, however, there were a couple of individuals with excessive levels of fatigue. The effects of fatigue were more apparent for the afternoon shift. This is possibly due to the degraded sleep quality as a result of split rest periods obtained prior to the duty. It is suggested in this study that the company pay a much closer attention to the work-sleep schedules, and to improve sleep quality by redesigning better sleeping arrangements.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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