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Concept: Rail transport


As the number of freight trains on railway networks increases, so does the potential for vibration exposure in dwellings nearby to freight railway lines. Nocturnal trains in particular are of particular importance since night-time exposure may interfere with sleep. The present work investigates the impact of vibration and noise from night-time freight trains on human sleep. In an experimental polysomnographic laboratory study, 24 young healthy volunteers with normal hearing were exposed to simulated freight pass-bys with vibration amplitudes of 0.7 and 1.4 mm/s either 20 or 36 times during the night. Stronger vibrations were associated with higher probabilities of event-related arousals and awakenings (p < 0.001), and sleep stage changes (p < 0.05). Sleep macrostructure was most affected in high vibration nights with 36 events, with increased wakefulness (p < 0.05), reduced continual slow wave sleep (p < 0.05), earlier awakenings (p < 0.05) and an overall increase in sleep stage changes (p < 0.05). Subjects reported sleep disturbance due to vibration (F(4,92) = 25.9, p < 0.001) and noise (F(4,92) = 25.9, p < 0.001), with the number of trains having an effect only for the 0.7 mm/s condition (p < 0.05). The findings show that combined vibration and noise from railway freight affects the natural rhythm of sleep, but extrapolation of significance for health outcomes should be approached with caution.

Concepts: Sleep, Sleep disorder, Electroencephalography, Wave, Sleep apnea, Polysomnography, Rail transport, Rail tracks


The objective of our study was to measure the impact of transportation-related noise and total environmental noise on sleep disturbance for the residents of Montreal, Canada. A telephone-based survey on noise-related sleep disturbance among 4336 persons aged 18 years and over was conducted. LNight for each study participant was estimated using a land use regression (LUR) model. Distance of the respondent’s residence to the nearest transportation noise source was also used as an indicator of noise exposure. The proportion of the population whose sleep was disturbed by outdoor environmental noise in the past 4 weeks was 12.4%. The proportion of those affected by road traffic, airplane and railway noise was 4.2%, 1.5% and 1.1%, respectively. We observed an increased prevalence in sleep disturbance for those exposed to both rail and road noise when compared for those exposed to road only. We did not observe an increased prevalence in sleep disturbance for those that were both exposed to road and planes when compared to those exposed to road or planes only. We developed regression models to assess the marginal proportion of sleep disturbance as a function of estimated LNight and distance to transportation noise sources. In our models, sleep disturbance increased with proximity to transportation noise sources (railway, airplane and road traffic) and with increasing LNight values. Our study provides a quantitative estimate of the association between total environmental noise levels estimated using an LUR model and sleep disturbance from transportation noise.

Concepts: Scientific method, Regression analysis, Linear regression, Statistics, Transport, Road, Noise pollution, Rail transport


Objectives. We assessed changes in transit-associated walking in the United States from 2001 to 2009 and documented their importance to public health. Methods. We examined transit walk times using the National Household Travel Survey, a telephone survey administered by the US Department of Transportation to examine travel behavior in the United States. Results. People are more likely to transit walk if they are from lower income households, are non-White, and live in large urban areas with access to rail systems. Transit walkers in large urban areas with a rail system were 72% more likely to transit walk 30 minutes or more per day than were those without a rail system. From 2001 to 2009, the estimated number of transit walkers rose from 7.5 million to 9.6 million (a 28% increase); those whose transit-associated walking time was 30 minutes or more increased from approximately 2.6 million to 3.4 million (a 31% increase). Conclusions. Transit walking contributes to meeting physical activity recommendations. Study results may contribute to transportation-related health impact assessment studies evaluating the impact of proposed transit systems on physical activity, potentially influencing transportation planning decisions. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print January 17, 2013: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300912).

Concepts: United States, Urban area, Transport, Pedestrian, Sustainable transport, Public transport, Rail transport, Transportation planning


Previous studies have shown accelerated gastric emptying after sleeve gastrectomy. This study aimed to determine whether a correlation exists between immediate postoperative gastroduodenal transit time and weight loss after laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG). Specifically, correlation tests were conducted to determine whether more rapid transit after LSG correlated with increased weight loss.

Concepts: Obesity, Airport, Public transport, Rapid transit, Commuter rail, Mark Ovenden, Public transport timetable, Rail transport


Urbanization is an important factor contributing to the global spread of dengue in recent decades, especially in tropical regions. However, the impact of public transportation system on local spread of dengue in urban settings remains poorly understood, due to the difficulty in collecting relevant locality, transportation and disease incidence data with sufficient detail, and in suitably quantifying the combined effect of proximity and passenger flow. We quantify proximity and passenger traffic data relating to 2014-2015 dengue outbreaks in Kaohsiung, Taiwan by introducing a “Risk Associated with Metro Passengers Presence” (RAMPP), which considers the passenger traffic of stations located within a fixed radius, giving more weight to the busier and/or closer stations. In order to analyze the contagion risk associated with nearby presence of one or more Kaohsiung Rapid Transit (KRT) stations, we cluster the Li’s (the fourth level administrative subdivision in Taiwan) of Kaohsiung based on their RAMPP value using the K-means algorithm. We then perform analysis of variance on distinct clusterings and detect significant differences for both years. The subsequent post hoc tests (Dunn) show that yearly incidence rate observed in the areas with highest RAMPP values is always significantly greater than that recorded with smaller RAMPP values. RAMPP takes into account of population mobility in urban settings via the use of passenger traffic information of urban transportation system, that captures the simple but important idea that large amount of passenger flow in and out of a station can dramatically increase the contagion risk of dengue in the neighborhood. Our study provides a new perspective in identifying high-risk areas for transmissions and thus enhances our understanding of how public rapid transit system contributes to disease spread in densely populated urban areas, which could be useful in the design of more effective and timely intervention and control measures for future outbreaks.

Concepts: Airport, Public transport, Rapid transit, Commuter rail, Mark Ovenden, Public transport timetable, Rail transport, Park and ride


Hydrogel microfish featuring biomimetic structures, locomotive capabilities, and functionalized nanoparticles are engineered using a rapid 3D printing platform: microscale continuous -optical printing (μCOP). The 3D-printed -microfish exhibit chemically powered and magnetically guided propulsion, as well as highly efficient detoxification capabilities that highlight the technical versatility of this platform for engineering advanced functional microswimmers for diverse biomedical applications.

Concepts: Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Inkjet printer, Biomedical engineering, Application software, Bionics, Rail transport


Railway and metro suicides constitute a major problem in many parts of the world. Japan has experienced an increase in the number of suicides by persons diving in front of an oncoming train in the last several years. Some major railway operators in Japan have begun installing blue light-emitting-diode (LED) lamps on railway platforms and at railway crossings as a method of deterring suicides, which is less costly than installing platform screen doors. However, the effectiveness of the blue lights in this regard has not yet been proven.

Concepts: Scientific method, Java, Suicide, Rapid transit, Rail transport, Third rail, Railway platform, Platform screen doors


Fatigue is an identifiable and preventable cause of accidents in transport operations. Regarding the railway sector, incident logs and simulation studies show that employee fatigue leads to lack of alertness, impaired performance, and occurrence of incidents. China has one of the largest rail systems in the world, and Chinese railway employees work under high fatigue risks; therefore, it is important to assess their fatigue level and find the major factors leading to fatigue. We designed a questionnaire that uses Multidimensional Fatigue Instrument (MFI-20), NASA-TLX and subjective rating of work overtime feelings to assess employee fatigue. The contribution of each influential factor of fatigue was analysed using structural equation modelling. In total, 297 employees from the rail maintenance department and 227 employees from the locomotive department returned valid responses. The average scores and standard deviations for the five subscales of MFI-20, namely General Fatigue, Physical Fatigue, Reduced Activity, Reduced Motivation, and Mental Fatigue, were 2.9 (0.8), 2.8 (0.8), 2.5 (0.8), 2.5 (0.7), and 2.4 (0.8) among the rail maintenance employees and 3.5 (0.8), 3.5 (0.7), 3.3 (0.7), 3.0 (0.6), and 3.1 (0.7), respectively, among the locomotive employees. The fatigue of the locomotive employees was influenced by feelings related to working overtime (standardized r = 0.22) and workload (standardized r = 0.27). The work overtime control and physical working environment significantly influenced subjective feelings (standardized r = -0.25 and 0.47, respectively), while improper work/rest rhythms and an adverse physical working environment significantly increased the workload (standardized r = 0.48 and 0.33, respectively).

Concepts: Standard deviation, The Work, Structural equation modeling, Judea Pearl, Steam locomotive, Locomotive, Rail transport, Rail transport operations


Sleep and work schedules differ considerably between rail workers and the broader U.S. workforce. Due to extended work hours and night shift schedules, train and engine service workers who operate passenger trains or move freight are most vulnerable to fatigue. This article addresses the need for comprehensive fatigue risk management systems (FRMS) for rail operators. Using a transactional ergonomic perspective, FRMS are discussed with a focus on fatigue education and administrative controls to reduce feelings of tiredness, low motivation, poor concentration, and low physical activity among mass transit rail operators. Recommendations for intervention implementation and evaluation are provided.

Concepts: United States, Sleep deprivation, Fatigue, Train, Public transport, Train station, Rail transport, Amtrak


The effectiveness of rapid rail transit system is analyzed using tools of complex network for the first time. We evaluated the effectiveness of the system in Beijing quantitatively from different perspectives, including descriptive statistics analysis, bridging property, centrality property, ability of connecting different part of the system and ability of disease spreading. The results showed that the public transport of Beijing does benefit from the rapid rail transit lines, and the benefit of different regions from RRTS is gradually decreased from the north to the south. The paper concluded with some policy suggestions regarding how to promote the system. This study offered significant insight that can help understand the public transportation better. The methodology can be easily applied to analyze other urban public systems, such as electricity grid, water system, to develop more livable cities.

Concepts: Airport, Road transport, Public transport, Train station, Rapid transit, Commuter rail, Public transport timetable, Rail transport