AbstractThis paper presents a formative analysis of the train driving task. The train driving task is embedded in the railway domain which can be described as a complex sociotechnical system. These systems pose new demands on the analytical tools used in work analysis. The formative approach is thought to deal with these demands. The framework applied here draws on the Cognitive Work Analysis. It describes the task in terms of the behaviour shaping constraints embedded in five conceptual distinctions; work domain, control tasks, strategies, social- organisation and cooperation, and worker competencies. The focus is on describing the task in broad terms, and showing the interactions between the different conceptual distinctions, and how they shape the task. The study drew upon multiple data sources. Observations were made on two local traffic routes in Norway. Interviews with drivers and safety personnel, and studies of secondary data were also done. The framework applied here proved promising in showing how the train driving task is shaped through the constraints on the different levels. It also showed how the drivers deal with context-conditioned variability. It can, despite of problems with device-dependence and level of detail, provide a starting point for further studies. It can also provide a means of displaying data from formative analyses in other domains in order to demonstrate how constraints shape behaviour.
Keywords: rail human factors, formative analysis, train driving task.