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The characteristics of railway service disruption: implications for disruption management

Golightly, David; Dadashi, Nastaran

The characteristics of railway service disruption: implications for disruption management Thumbnail


David Golightly

Nastaran Dadashi


Rail disruption management is central to operational continuity and customer satisfaction. Disruption is not a unitary phenomenon - it varies by time, cause, location and complexity of coordination. Effective, user-centred technology for rail disruption must reflect this variety. A repertory grid study was conducted to elicit disruption characteristics. Construct elicitation with a group of experts (n=7) captured 26 characteristics relevant to rail disruption. A larger group of operational staff (n=28) rated 10 types of rail incident against the 26 characteristics. The results revealed distinctions such as business impact and public perception, and the importance of management of the disruption over initial detection. There were clear differences between those events that stop the traffic, as opposed to those that only slow the traffic. The results also demonstrate the utility of repertory grid for capturing the characteristics of complex work domains.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 10, 2016
Online Publication Date May 23, 2016
Deposit Date May 25, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 25, 2016
Journal Ergonomics
Print ISSN 0014-0139
Electronic ISSN 1366-5847
Publisher Taylor & Francis Open
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Railways, disruption, repertory grid, expertise, socio-technical systems design
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Ergonomics on 23 May 2016, available online:


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