Cognition, Technology & Work

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 171–185 | Cite as

Managing incidents in a complex system: a railway case study

Original Article


The authors of this paper review how complex entities, composed of many interdependent subsystems, such as international rail operators, can improve their ability to recover from incidents through the better management of key interfaces. The principles of Normal Accident Theory and resilience engineering are discussed, and the case study of the Eurostar incident of 18–19 December 2009 is considered in detail. Lessons learnt from resilience engineering are applied to the case study to extract recommendations by which incident management for open access international rail transport may be improved.


Crisis management Decompensation fatigue Evacuation drills Interface management Normal accident theory Railway incident response Resilience engineering 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Letra Engineering LtdLyminge, KentUK
  2. 2.Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and EducationUniversity of BirminghamEdgbaston, BirminghamUK

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