Driver fatigue during extended rail operations.Appl Ergon. 2008 Sep; 39(5):623-9.AE
Relay is an effective mode of freight transportation within Australia. Relay requires two crews to drive the train continuously from one specified destination to another and return with crews working in alternating shifts. The aim of the current investigation was to assess fatigue levels during extended relay operations.
Nine drivers participated and data were collected from 16 four-day trips. Fatigue was assessed objectively and subjectively prior to and following each trip and before and after each 8h shift.
Analyses revealed a trend for elevated fatigue at the end of each shift. Designated 8h rest periods appeared sufficient to reduce fatigue to levels recorded prior to departure and prevent accumulation of fatigue across the trip.
Drivers seemed to cope well with the 8h rotating sleep/wake regime. While fatigue did not observably accumulate, it is possible that operational measures may better reflect fatigue experienced over the course of each trip.