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The Transportation Library supports the students and faculty of the Transportation Center and the Center for Public Safety. Containing more than 500,000 items, we are one of the largest transportation information centers in the world, encompassing information on all modes of transportation including air, rail, highway, pipeline, water, urban transport, and logistics.
Reference staff are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Northwestern University Transportation Center (NUTC) is a leading interdisciplinary education and research institution serving industry, government, and the public with substantive and enduring contributions to the movement of materials, people, energy, and information.
Federal Railroad Administration
National Transportation Safety Board
Association of American Railroads
Positive Train Control (PTC) for railway safety in the United States: Policy developments and critical issues
Nationwide implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) is underway in the United States. PTC is designed to prevent certain types of train accidents. This paper provides a review of the policy development, operational impact, cost-effectiveness, and critical issues associated with industry-wide PTC implementation. Challenges include interoperability, technological complexity, and limited implementation resources. Emerging critical issues include train operations at restricted speeds, railroad cyber-security risk, broken rail prevention in PTC territories, en route failure of PTC, grade-crossing protection, and opportunities for leveraging PTC-generated big data that require more research from academia, government, and industry.
What is Positive Train Control?
From Union Pacific:
Positive Train Control (PTC) is an advanced system designed to automatically stop a train before certain accidents occur. In particular, PTC is designed to prevent:
- Train-to-train collisions
- Derailments caused by excessive train speed
- Train movements through misaligned track switches
- Unauthorized train entry into work zones.
Read more here.
What is positive train control and why wasn’t it being used in the Amtrak train crash?
Books in the Transportation Library
Find Books and Articles
Transportation Library Collections This link opens in a new window
Use the Transportation Library Collection tab to do a global search for all Transportation Library books, journals, EIS', journal articles, digital collections and more.
NUsearch This link opens in a new window
NUsearch is the main search tool for Northwestern University Library, combining the library catalog with a wealth of other databases and online collections.
TRID This link opens in a new window
Produced and maintained by the Transportation Research Board, TRID is the world's largest and most comprehensive bibliographic resource on transportation research information, covering all modes of transportation.
IEEE Xplore Digital Library This link opens in a new window
Has full-text access to technical literature in electrical engineering, computer science, and electronics
ASCE Civil Engineering Database This link opens in a new window
The Civil Engineering Database (CEDB) is designed to provide easy bibliographic access to all ASCE publications. The database covers ASCE documents published since 1970. It provides full text access to all the journals; only abstracts and indexing for conference proceedings, books, standards, manuals, magazines, and newspapers.
Engineering Village This link opens in a new window
Engineering Village comprises Compendex and INSPEC. Compendex is the most comprehensive bibliographic database of scientific and technical engineering research available, covering all engineering disciplines. INSPEC is a database providing access to bibliographic citations and abstracts of the scientific and technical literature in physics, electrical engineering, electronics, communications, control engineering, computers and computing, information technology, manufacturing and production engineering.
Scopus This link opens in a new window
Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database, including peer-reviewed titles from international publishers, Open Access journals, conference proceedings, trade publications, quality web sources. Subject coverage : Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Engineering ; Life and Health Sciences ; Social Sciences, Psychology and Economics ; Biological, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences