Workload, Fatigue and Performance in the Rail Industry

  • Andrew P. Smith
  • Hugo N. Smith
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 726)


Recent research has addressed the topic of workload in the rail industry. Much of this has been concerned with developing measures for use by signallers and there has been less research about the workload of passenger rail staff. The present studies addressed this issue using single item measures of workload, effort, fatigue and performance. Results from two diary studies with conductors/guards and maintenance engineers showed that high workload was associated with increased fatigue. Fatigue was associated with increased risk of incidents and slower reaction time. In the third study, results from a large scale survey showed both that high demands increased fatigue and demands were associated with perceptions of reduced performance. Overall, these results confirm the importance of workload for operational efficiency and show that the use of single item measures makes further study in real-life settings acceptable.


Workload Job demands Fatigue Performance Rail industry 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology, School of PsychologyCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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